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Rep. Young Kim visits Orange County vaccination site serving CA-39.

Feb 16, 2021 | Health, Press Releases

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-39) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) led a letter from the California Republican Congressional Delegation to the Newsom administration demanding answers regarding the State’s slow vaccine rollout.

Rep. Kim and Leader McCarthy were joined in sending the letter by California Reps. David Valadao (CA-21), Darrell Issa (CA-50), Michelle Steel (CA-48), Mike Garcia (CA-25), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Devin Nunes (CA-22), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Ken Calvert (CA-42) and Jay Obernolte (CA).

Read the full letter HERE and see highlights below.

“We write to express our serious concerns regarding the State of California’s slow, opaque decision-making process, and ever-changing approach to distributing COVID vaccines, which has been met with confusion and frustration by our constituents, local public health officials, and front-line health care providers. With the remarkable success of the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed in producing safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics to aid in the fight against the coronavirus, the State’s vaccine distribution plan must be coherent, efficient, and transparent; otherwise we fear more Californians may die as the result of COVID.  

“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. With California being a beacon of technological innovation, this is particularly disconcerting.

“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 also troubling that, according to the Los Angeles Times, software programs your Administration is using for vaccine distribution – apparently the only way for health care providers to participate in your vaccine rollout initiative – has been ‘slowed by technical problem’ and glitches on the CalVax website are ‘at times limiting access to much-needed vaccines.’ Even more frustrating is that the California Department of Public Health appears to be aware of this issue, stating the Department “has been working with the vendor to work on finding solutions,” but it is unclear if these problems have been resolved…

“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.”

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