Group reviewing COVID-19 vaccines for western states authorizes new Johnson & Johnson option

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the work group reviewing COVID-19 vaccines for western states has authorized the new Johnson & Johnson option.

The announcement comes after the FDA and CDC granted their initial authorization for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup is made up of vaccine experts from Washington, California, Oregon and Nevada. The group has continued to meet to review data and ensure the safety and efficacy of all FDA-authorized vaccines. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were reviewed in December following federal authorization.

“With the delivery of the J & J vaccine this week, and overall increase in the number of vaccine doses coming to Washington, we have increased our capacity to get vaccine to all parts of the state,” Inslee said. “We are making good progress on vaccination rates, and this third vaccine will help our efforts to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

So far, about 8.4 percent of Washington’s population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the New York Times.