SALEM, Ore. — The Pfizer vaccine received its final greenlight for use in people between the ages 12 and 15 in West Coast states this week, according to Governor Kate Brown's office.
Pfizer's vaccine received the expanded emergency use approval from the FDA on Monday. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup — which reviews federal decisions on COVID-19 vaccines for Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada — confirmed that the vaccine is "safe and effective" for youth ages 12 to 15 and notified the governors on Wednesday night.
According to Brown's office, the Oregon Health Authority is notifying vaccine providers in the state that they can expand vaccinations to this age group on Thursday.
“This is great news for Oregon children, parents, and families. Vaccination is the best tool we have to protect ourselves and our loved ones," said Governor Brown. "With today’s review by leading doctors, pediatricians, and health experts, young Oregonians and parents can be confident in the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for youth. It is completely normal for parents and kids to have questions about vaccines––I urge you to reach out to your family doctor or pharmacist and get your questions answered today.”
California started the scientific safety review group in October, and the other states joined shortly after. The group was established to independently evaluate the FDA's decisions on COVID-19 vaccines.
“The in-depth review from the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup reinforces the fact that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and will help young Californians protect themselves from COVID-19," said California Governor Gavin Newsom. "I encourage those who are now eligible to get vaccinated. Expanding vaccine access to teenagers is a critical step in defeating this pandemic and will get us that much closer to safely reopening California’s economy next month.”