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McCarthy, Kim: Californians Deserve Answers About Newsom Vaccine Distribution Plan

Feb 16, 2021
Press Release


Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Congresswoman Young Kim (CA-39) led Members of the California Republican Congressional Delegation in a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom expressing serious concerns and requesting answers regarding the State’s slow, ambiguous decision-making process on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The pandemic has proven to be difficult for all Californians, and this time has been made even more challenging and confusing by constant, evolving guidelines from Sacramento.

Highlights of the letter can be found below or here:

“According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of February 11th, the State of California has received a total of 7.822 million vaccines, yet only 5.134 million of these vaccines have been administered. This means that roughly 35 percent of the total vaccines distributed to the Golden State remain to be administered and places California behind Florida, New York, and Washington State in vaccines administered on a per capita basis. The State of California should explain to Californians why the vaccine distribution has had such failures, despite having months to prepare prior to the development of the vaccines.

“During a January 8, 2021 news conference, you urged Californians to hold you accountable in your goal to administer one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in ten days. Nearly two weeks later, it was reported that the California Department of Public Health acknowledged technical issues and data lags had prevented the State from accurately confirming if this goal was achieved... 

“On January 27, 2021, you abruptly announced that Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente would assume management of overseeing vaccine distribution to counties, pharmacies, and health care providers in the State. While a course correction to the State’s failed vaccine distribution system was needed, this announcement and its lack of details has caused further confusion. During an already difficult and uncertain time, our constituents and Californians deserve consistency and transparency with vaccine distribution.

“While the State recently published vaccine allocations per county on its website, it is our understanding your Administration has not publicly disclosed its formulas that determine county vaccine allocations, which has made it incredibly difficult for local officials to develop and implement vaccination plans. Further, your Administration retains sole authority over approving additional providers eligible to administer COVID vaccines and, as we understand it, this process has taken at times weeks to secure approval—only further hampering efforts to increase vaccinations across California to save lives and help restore life to normal...

“It is our hope that your Administration take immediate steps to inform local public health officials and health care providers how vaccines are being distributed around the State to assist them with planning and resolve any and all software problems so Californians can get access to vaccines in their communities.”