Gov. Jay Inslee announced the authorization of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup Sunday.
The announcement comes after the FDA and CDC granted their initial authorization of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The Western States Workgroup, comprised of vaccine experts from Washington, California, Oregon, and Nevada, have been meeting to review the data and analysis to ensure the safety and efficacy of both the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines federally authorized. The Pfizer vaccine was authorized last week and is already being administered throughout Washington state.
"I'm pleased that the Western States Workgroup gave their unanimous recommendation to the Moderna vaccine today and encourages immediate use of the vaccine in our states," Inslee said. "Having two vaccines to combat COVID-19 will help us begin to recover from this destructive pandemic."
Workgroup members hope that their independent review inspires confidence in Washingtonians around the vaccine's safety and efficacy.
The first of the Moderna vaccine doses are expected to start arriving from the federal government this week. The storage and handling of this vaccine are logistically easier and should help get the vaccine to all areas of the state.
"We still need to be extremely vigilant in taking care of each other until the vaccine is widely available, which will still be several months from now," Inslee said. "We must continue masking, physical distancing, and not gathering with friends and family, especially during this holiday season. Our disease activity remains high, and we must work together to keep each other safe."