SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – With close to half of California fully vaccinated now, the next step to herd immunity in the state will be the effort to vaccinate those who have so far chosen not to get the shot.
“What we’re running into now is willingness,” said Blue Shield CEO Paul Markovich.READ MORE: Body Of Missing UC Davis Graduate Catherine Serou Found In Russia, Reports Say
Markovich and Blue Shield are changing the game plan to get Californians vaccinated.
“The people that have not yet been vaccinated are people that either have some hesitancy to get vaccinated or may be very difficult to reach,” Markovich said.
According to the Los Angeles Times, 41.8% of Californians are fully vaccinated, with Sacramento County 38% vaccinated. Marin County has the best vaccination rate in the state at 61%, and Lassen County has the worst rate in the state at just 18%.
We asked Markovich about new types of incentives to get people vaccinated, including potential gift cards or cash rewards.READ MORE: Events Around Sacramento Celebrate First Nationally Recognized Juneteenth
“I think that is something that could happen down the road. That’s obviously up to the state,” he said.
Markovich says any decision on paying people with taxpayer dollars would come from the state leaders.
“My guess is you’ll hear something in the not too distant future into how they’ll handle that,” he said.
Besides possible state financial incentives, Blue Shield will focus on distributing doses in new ways. No more mass vaccine sites. Schools, community events and doctor’s offices will be new targets – where people who have yet to seek a vaccine, may have more trust with their own healthcare provider.
“Over time, most people have some type of contact with their personal physician,” Markovich said.MORE NEWS: Saturday Night Fever: Enjoying A Night On The Town After California COVID Restrictions Lifted
Eventually, Blue Shield is aiming to have 75% of California fully vaccinated not only statewide, but in each county as well.