Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine cleared for use by the Western States Scientific Review Workgroup

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has recommended Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for immediate use, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday.

“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 17-member workgroup, comprised of vaccine experts from Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada, reviewed data and information on the vaccine’s efficacy to reassure skeptics that the vaccine is safe.

It comes after the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention granted its initial authorization.

Officials said the storage and handling of the vaccine is logistically easier and should help get the doses to all areas of the state.

The first doses of the vaccine are expected to start arriving in Washington this week.

“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,” 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.”