Review group clears Pfizer coronavirus vaccine use in four western states

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Posted at 4:39 PM, Dec 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-13 19:59:31-05

(KGTV) — The safety review group put in place by California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington has approved the use of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in the states.

Sunday, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup completed their own review of the FDA's process of approving Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, confirming it is safe and effective.

The group of scientists with expertise in immunization and public health was developed by the governors of the four states in October to independently review the FDA's process of approving any coronavirus vaccine.

In a statement, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the group will continue to review any other COVID-19 vaccines that are approved by the FDA:

"As California continues to fight the surge, we know hope is on the way with a vaccine. While we remain vigilant in stopping the spread, we are also leveraging our best in the nation scientific experts to ensure safety, efficacy and equity for all Californians when it comes to any COVID-19 vaccine use and distribution.

Our Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has worked concurrently with the federal process to review and assess available data, and examine the federal review processes regarding the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This morning, the Workgroup recommended the Pfizer vaccine as safe for public use. With shipments of the vaccine soon on their way to California, we are working hand-in-hand with local public health officials to get the vaccine out to the first phase of recipients. Their work will continue as data becomes available on other potential vaccines.

To help end this pandemic and move toward phased vaccine distribution across our state, we are calling on all Californians to continue doing their part by following local and state guidance, wearing a mask and staying home. Together we will get through this and move forward to a healthy, safer, resilient California for all."

California is scheduled to receive more than 325,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine as virus cases spike. Saturday, the state reported more than 1.5 million coronavirus cases.

According to San Diego County officials, the first 28,000 doses of the vaccine will be distributed to Rady Children’s Hospital, UCSD, and the county.

The hope of a vaccine couldn't come soon enough. California reported ICU capacities at 15% or lower in three regions on Sunday:

  • Bay Area: 16.7%
  • Greater Sacramento Region: 15.1%
  • Northern California: 43.6%
  • San Joaquin Valley: 1.5%
  • Southern California: 4.2%