COVID Vaccine: A Bright Spot for California

Susan Fleischman, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan

April 30, 2021

Welcome to the new Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan News Center. At the forefront of my mind is the COVID-19 pandemic and how last month marked the one-year anniversary of our Safer at Home measures to reduce the potential burden of illness, hospitalization, and deaths in California. Since then, this virus has radically transformed how we work, live, whom we see, and how we navigate our daily lives.

As a physician, I am encouraged by the vaccines available to us here in California, the high volume of daily vaccinations, and the great work to get the vaccine into the most vulnerable communities.

I got the vaccine for three reasons:

To keep myself safe. Because I am vaccinated, I am far less likely to be ill, hospitalized, or die from COVID.

To keep my family safe. I want to keep the people in my household safe. I cannot imagine the grief families feel when one family member gets COVID and transmits it to another member, who does not do well. Also from a practical perspective, I need to be well to keep my family going, and well.

To keep our community safe. We have all heard of herd immunity, and I want to contribute to our communities being safe places to live, play, and work. We are truly all in this together. Our individual actions can impact people in our communities, and around the world. By getting vaccinated, I am helping small businesses re-open, unemployment levels drop, and homelessness and food insecurity decline.

So much impact from a small individual action.

While I see a light at the end of the tunnel, we still must continue with preventive measures before and after getting vaccinated. That includes wearing a mask, washing your hands, practicing social distancing.  I know many of us look forward to the day when we can gather in groups post-vaccination, and there will be guidelines that spell out when that is safe. Please visit for more information.

Please get vaccinated for your sake, for the sake of your family, and your community.