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Letters to the Editor: How can Blue Shield possibly help California with vaccines?

A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccine dose at the American Indian Health Center in San Diego on March 3.
(Jarrod Valliere / San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: As a 15-year subscriber to a Blue Shield insurance plan, I would like to offer my opinion on the company taking over the California vaccination program: No. No way. Not unless hell freezes over.

There has rarely been a time in the past 15 years that I could speak to anyone at Blue Shield without being kept on hold for about an hour. This has been true whether I was on an expensive self-pay plan or in a Medicare supplemental program. As often as not, I’d end the call with incorrect information or an incomplete answer.

As for the system in Los Angeles, within three months both my husband and I were vaccinated. The Carbon Health system for vaccinations at Dodger Stadium was efficient, and we were able to communicate via email or text and actually receive a response.

I cannot imagine how Blue Shield could do anything other than make this process more miserable and impersonal. If they cannot take better care of the subscribers who pay for their services, why on Earth does anyone think they can take care of people who need COVID-19 vaccines?

Debra Young Krizman, Santa Monica

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To the editor: Blue Shield and our governor can do California’s vaccine distribution a big favor by not changing horses in midstream and keeping their sticky fingers off of those distribution efforts that are currently working well.

They should refocus their efforts on finding and vaccinating those folks who are unable to access the established vaccine programs that have already inoculated millions of Californians.

There is a great need for Blue Shield, or someone else, to go into the underserved communities and get shots into the arms of people who live in the country or in dense urban areas, or people who do not have a car, internet access, a cellphone or a place to live.

Vaccinating them, and not building yet another website, is a job that needs doing. Let’s not fix what ain’t broke; let’s fix what is.

J.J. Gasparotti, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: My head almost exploded reading about how “helpful” Blue Shield says it will be.

I applaud Los Angeles County Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Hilda Solis and others for pushing back on this unnecessary intervention into the vaccine distribution system. This appears to be an effort by a private insurance company to get more data and increase market share.

Sylvia Hampton, View Park


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