Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup approves Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup as approved the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Inslee announced on Sunday. The approval comes just two days after the FDA and CDC granted their authorization of the vaccine.
The Western States workgroup is made up of vaccine experts from Washington, California, Oregon, and Nevada. They meet to review the data and analysis to ensure the safety of the vaccines. They also approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine shortly after the FDA and CDC authorized its use.
“I’m pleased that the Western States Workgroup gave their unanimous recommendation to the Moderna vaccine today and encourages immediate use of the vaccine in our states,” Inslee said. “Having two vaccines to combat COVID-19 will help us begin to recover from this destructive pandemic.”
The Pfizer vaccine was authorized last week and is already being administered in Washington state. The workgroup hopes that its independent review inspires confidence in around the vaccine’s safety and efficacy.
The chief science adviser for the U.S. government’s vaccine distribution effort says it will be shipping nearly 8 million doses of coronavirus vaccine Monday.
Dr. Moncef Slaoui said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that 5.9 million doses of a vaccine made by Moderna and 2 million of a vaccine made by Pfizer will be shipped.
At least a dozen states reported last week that they would receive a smaller second shipment of the Pfizer vaccine than they had been told previously. Army Gen. Gustave Perna, in charge of the distribution effort, apologized Saturday for “miscommunication” with states over the number of doses to be delivered in the early stages of distribution.
“We still need to be extremely vigilant in taking care of each other until the vaccine is widely available, which will still be several months from now,” Gov. Inslee said. “We must continue masking, physical distancing and not gathering with friends and family, especially during this holiday season. Our disease activity remains high, and we must work together to keep each other safe.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.