The Working Group to Review Scientific Safety in Western States has approved the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Jay Inslee announced on Sunday.
The vaccine was approved as an emergency by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday. The first shipments are expected to arrive in Washington this week. Moderna’s vaccine is the second to be approved by the FDA and the working group made up of vaccine experts from Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada.
“I am pleased that the Western States Workgroup today has made its unanimous recommendation for the Moderna vaccine and is promoting the immediate use of the vaccine in our states,” said Inslee in a press release. “With two vaccines against COVID-19, we can gradually recover from this devastating pandemic.”
The task force was formed to further review all vaccines distributed nationwide by adding another level of independent reviews.
Moderna’s vaccine is easier to use than the pre-approved Pfizer vaccine that is already in use, as it does not need to be stored in extremely frozen temperatures.
“We still need to be extremely vigilant about each other until the vaccine is widely used. This will take a few more months,” Inslee said in the press release. “We need to keep masking, distance ourselves physically, and not hang out with friends and family, especially during this holiday season. Our disease activity remains high and we must work together to protect one another. “