SALEM, Ore. — Oregon will join a group of states, led by California, in reviewing the safety of a potential coronavirus vaccine once approved by the federal government for distribution, Governor Kate Brown's office announced on Tuesday.
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the "COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup" last week, and the governors of Oregon, Washington, and Nevada have since signed onto the initiative. Newsom indicated that the workgroup would consist of a panel of scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, tasked with independently reviewing the vaccine.
“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 Governor 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.”
Brown said that she and the other governors will help to identify public health experts to join the workgroup. These scientists will examine any vaccine approved by the FDA "before California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada will make the vaccine available to the public."
“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 Governor 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.”
The group of governors last partnered in a "Western States Pact" announced in April, agreeing to coordinate on when and how to loosen lockdown restrictions after the U.S. shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus.