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Oregon, California find COVID-19 vaccines safe for children 6 months, older

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SALEM, Ore. -- The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has found both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines safe for children as young as six months old.

Sunday, the group completed its review of the federal process and unanimously confirmed the vaccines to be safe for young children. The Workgroup provided its confirmation to the Governors of California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Oregon governor Kate Brown said in a statement, "With today’s review by leading doctors, pediatricians, and health experts, Oregon parents and children can be confident in the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for children as young as six months old."

Also in a statement, California governor Gavin Newsom said, “Vaccines are safe, effective, and widely accessible – we’re strongly encouraging parents to protect their kids from COVID-19 with these vaccines, and California has pre-ordered nearly 400,000 doses that can be administered at the more than 8,500 vaccine sites throughout the state.”

The Moderna two-dose vaccine series and the Pfizer three-dose vaccine series are now available to children as young as six months old. The Oregon Health Authority will inform health care providers that vaccinations for children can begin in Oregon as soon as Monday, June 20.

On Friday, June 17, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of the vaccines in children as young as six months old, and the CDC affirmed that decision on Saturday. 

The Workgroup found that completion of either vaccine series produced antibody levels similar to those achieved in individuals aged 16 to 25 years old. Observed vaccine reactions among infants aged six to 12 months old and children aged one through five years old were consistent with reactions to other vaccines routinely recommended for these age groups. The Workgroup also concluded that the benefits of completing either vaccine series substantially outweigh any known or likely risks. 

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