i. General Questions

III. COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

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i. General Questions

In terms of cost, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Communication Toolkits both state that the COVID-19 vaccines will be free to the recipient, including both the cost of the vaccine and administration costs. For those with either government or private health insurance, co-pays will be waived. It is the intention of the government to not charge those without insurance for vaccination.

The State of California has signed a new Third Party Administrator contract with Blue Shield of California who will be working closely with local health departments to identify prospective COVID-19 vaccine Providers. All current and prospective COVID-19 vaccine Providers must hold the appropriate credentials and licensing in the jurisdiction where vaccination would take place, meet federal and state requirements, and have the capacity to properly maintain and administer the COVID-19 vaccine. To learn more about becoming a California COVID-19 Vaccine Provider, please visit Steps to Provider Enrollment to learn about the enrollment process and requirements.

Vaccines clinics are now available through many traditional clinical settings- including primary care offices, community clinics and retail pharmacies. Patients can find appointments through othena.com or myturn.ca.gov.

Mobile clinics are now available to provide vaccines throughout the county with emphasis on areas that have high numbers of cases. Communities can also request for mobile clinics. For more information, go to: https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-vaccine-resources

Multi-county entities, such as Kaiser Permanente, Providence and UC Health also provide vaccine to their employees, their members and residents of the community. Residents and employees of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, receive vaccinations through their facility, with vaccines provided through a federal program with CVS and Walgreens. Many local clinics and physician practices are now dispensing vaccines.

Recently, a new federal program provides vaccines directly to CVS, Walgreens, Albertson’s and Rite Aid pharmacies and other pharmacies. Eligible residents may contact local pharmacies directly, and may search which stores have vaccine by going to the CVS, Walgreens, Albertson’s and Rite Aid websites. Most of these pharmacies are now taking walk-ins without appointments.

For most residents of Orange County, registration for vaccination is through Othena, which can be accessed at Othena.com. The state MyTurn.ca.gov website also allows registration on many Orange County sites.

All providers must be enrolled with the state of California and, as of the end of March, 2021, must have a contract with the state’s Third Party Administrator, Blue Shield of California. To learn the process of enrollment go to California COVID-19 Vaccinate Vaccination Program and Network.

If you are a physician who is a COVID-19 vaccine provider or are interested in becoming one, go to California COVID-19Vaccinate Vaccination Program and Network  to learn about the enrollment process and the transition to becoming contracted with Blue Shield, the state’s third party administrator.