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More states join CA effort to review COVID-19 vaccine


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – Governor Gavin Newsom says his new vaccine safety group will not delay the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine as three more states decide to join California’s safety effort.

Washington, Nevada, and Oregon are joining California’s Vaccine Review Group to put a second set of eyes on an eventual FDA-approved vaccine before distributing it now within these West Coast states.

The governor responded to critics who claim this could delay a critical need for Californians.

“No, it will not cause any delays, in fact, we would argue quite the contrary. It’s going to increase transparency and trust,” Newsom said. 

State leaders Tuesday said as the FDA works to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, the West Coast group working to verify its safety does not plan to continue or replicate any trials.

“We are looking at the information and data publicly reported, BUT through the eyes of the experts can be strengthened and validated. We intend to work very hard to make sure the trust of the public is what we have and sharing this information in a clear concise way without delay,” Secretary of California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly said. 

State officials announced an additional group focused on the vaccine, a 16 person panel will come up with guidelines on vaccine ethics and distribution.

“That they’re safely transported, safely stored, that we’re having a mindset of safety of data and public and private data, what’s that line, what’s that distinction,” Newsom said.

There will be no timetable for any of this until a vaccine is approved.

Newsom’s administration has said it likely won’t happen in 2020.

Planning for the vaccine comes as California is starting to see increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

Both are up 5% over the last two weeks.

The governor says later this week he’ll be making an announcement on testing capacity. 

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