Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup Confirms the Pfizer Vaccine is Safe and Efficacious for Public Use

Endorses the transparency and objectivity of the FDA and CDC review processes and the rigor, validity and reliability of their analyses

Recommends that our states avoid any undue delay in providing access to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

SACRAMENTO – The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup today completed their concurrent and thorough review of the federal process and has confirmed the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and efficacious. The Workgroup provided their confirmation to the Governors of California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington this morning.

Washington, Oregon and Nevada joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup in October, which has worked concurrently and independently to review the FDA’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccinations. They will continue to evaluate other COVID-19 vaccines after they are routed through FDA authorization. The panel is made up of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health.

Statement from Governor Newsom:

As California continues to fight the surge, we know hope is on the way with a vaccine. While we remain vigilant in stopping the spread, we are also leveraging our best in the nation scientific experts to ensure safety, efficacy and equity for all Californians when it comes to any COVID-19 vaccine use and distribution.  

“Our Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has worked concurrently with the federal process to review and assess available data, and examine the federal review processes regarding the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This morning, the Workgroup recommended the Pfizer vaccine as safe for public use. With shipments of the vaccine soon on their way to California, we are working hand-in-hand with local public health officials to get the vaccine out to the first phase of recipients. Their work will continue as data becomes available on other potential vaccines.

“To help end this pandemic and move toward phased vaccine distribution across our state, we are calling on all Californians to continue doing their part by following local and state guidance, wearing a mask and staying home. Together we will get through this and move forward to a healthy, safer, resilient California for all.”

Statement from Governor Inslee:

“After months of fighting this relentless virus, we now can begin to offer a vaccine to begin suppressing this disease. It cannot come soon enough – with Washington closing in on 200,000 total COVID cases and nearly 2,900 deaths – this help is much needed to prevent further infection, hospitalization and loss of life,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said. “It was crucial that the Western states had their own independent review of the vaccine, so we can have additional confidence on its safety and efficacy before we start administering to the people of our states. I thank the members of the work group, including the two medical doctors from Washington for their rigorous and thoughtful work.”

Statement from Governor Brown:

“With recommendations from the FDA, CDC, and, now, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, Oregonians can rest assured that some of the best doctors, scientists, and immunologists in the world have reviewed the data and affirmed that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective,” said Governor Kate Brown. “We will work as quickly as possible to deliver vaccines to the public, starting with frontline health care workers and those who have been hardest hit by COVID-19. Please keep doing your part to keep your family and loved ones safe—wear a mask, stay home when you are sick, and avoid gatherings. Together, we can do this. Hope is on the way.”

Statement from Governor Sisolak:

“I am so pleased to see the culmination of the hard work from the best and brightest scientific minds across the region to help build confidence in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.  

“Our State team is eagerly awaiting our first allocation of the vaccine to arrive so Nevada can begin the process to vaccinate our frontline health care workers – who continue to battle this virus every day on behalf of Nevadans across the State.

“As we continue our efforts in Nevada to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, we can take hope in the fact that a safe and effective vaccine is on the way and that the best minds at the federal, regional and state level have all reviewed the process.

“With these extra measures, Nevadans can feel confident in this vaccine. I want to thank all those involved in this process for their hard work, including my fellow Governors. We know we are stronger when we work together, and this process is just another example of the proactive and collaborative efforts of all our teams.”