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CalOptima partners with County of Orange to vaccinate hard-to-reach members

To boost access to COVID-19 vaccines for low-income, hard-to-reach members, CalOptima partnered with the County of Orange to host the first of four vaccine events this past Saturday at the CalOptima office in Orange. Response was strong, and 820 people received a vaccine. Additional events are scheduled for May 22, June 5 and June 12. Uniquely targeting the needs of CalOptima members, the event also included a Resource Fair offering other community services and health screenings.

“One in every four people in Orange County is a member of CalOptima, and their daily routines leave them with a limited amount of time to get vaccinated,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, Chair of the CalOptima Board of Directors and Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “It is imperative that we vaccinate as many people as we can by lowering the barriers and increasing access to COVID-19 vaccines.” The event served anyone age 12 and over, as eligibility had just been expanded two days before. Minors needed identification and parental consent to get their shots.

Participation was driven in part by CalOptima’s Member Health Rewards program. “To encourage CalOptima members to get vaccinated, we are offering an incentive,” said Richard Sanchez, CalOptima Chief Executive Officer. “Eligible members who receive their vaccine at our clinics will be given a $25 gift card on the spot.” Members vaccinated elsewhere receive their incentives in the mail, so the benefit of the CalOptima location is the immediate reward. Recipients of two-dose vaccines will receive two gift cards; single-dose vaccine recipients receive one gift card.

CalOptima and OC Health Care Agency (HCA) staff worked together to vaccinate the largest number of recipients ever served at a one-day mobile clinic, surpassing the previous record of 560. County Health Officer, HCA Director and CalOptima Board Member Clayton Chau, M.D., Ph.D., was on site and personally administered vaccines. “Vaccine hesitancy in ethnic populations like CalOptima’s remains a challenge,” Dr. Chau said. “However, local events bring about more health equity by delivering the vaccine to the communities that need them most. This successful event further supports the County’s plan to shift focus and resources to mobile and pop-up events to reach
hesitancy groups.”

The Resource Fair component differentiated the event’s impact on CalOptima members by addressing social determinants of health and preventive services. Orange County Social Services Agency had two Mobile Resource Vehicles on site, and staff were able to enroll or assist attendees with CalFresh and Medi-Cal. In addition, 211 OC participated, engaging attendees in discussions about available community resources. Community Action Partnership’s Clementine food trolley and Tom Tom diaper bank truck were popular for families in need of food or diapers. Finally, Pacific Health and Wellness delivered bone density, thyroid and carotid artery health screenings on site. The same organizations will participate in the upcoming May and June events.

Saturday’s clinic has the maximum number of registrations at 1,200 individuals. It takes place in CalOptima’s parking lot at 505 City Parkway West in Orange, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Minors, ages 12 to 17, who are receiving a vaccine must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian and provide a picture ID and proof of age. Free transportation is available by calling CalOptima at 1-888-587-8088. The June 5 and 12 events are primarily to deliver second doses, although individuals who walk in without appointments may be accommodated.

The article above was released by CalOptima.