Oregon Joins California’s Covid-19 Vaccine Safety Workgroup

Oregon has followed Nevada and Washington in joining California’s Covid-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which will independently review the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the FDA for distribution.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the panel — which is made up of nationally recognized scientists with expertise in immunization and public health — last week.

“The vaccines currently in development, once approved, are what Americans have been waiting for to protect their families, their children, and their loved ones in long-term care facilities,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

“The independent review conducted by this panel of doctors, scientists, and health experts will ensure that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone, especially communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this disease.”

Brown said her state, along with Washington and Nevada, will help identify additional public health experts to join California’s workgroup and guide the review of any vaccine approved by the FDA.

While there is no proven vaccine for Covid-19 yet, these top health experts will review any vaccine that receives federal approval and verify its safety before California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada will make the vaccine available to the public.

“California has led with science and data through the COVID pandemic and when a vaccine becomes available, we will leverage our scientific expertise to verify its safety to give everyone the confidence they need to make important decisions regarding the health of their families,” said Newsom.

“This virus transcends our borders and we are grateful to partner with our neighboring states though our Scientific Safety Review Workgroup for a healthy and safe path forward for all our communities.”

This is not the first time western states have collaborated in response to Covid-19. In April, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Nevada joined in a “Western States Pact,” which shared a vision for reopening their economies safely amid the pandemic.

The following month, western state leaders urged Congress to approve $1 trillion in coronavirus relief for states and local governments.

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