Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup authorizes Moderna COVID-19 vaccine 

On Sunday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the authorization for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. 

The Workgroup, comprised of vaccine experts from Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada, reviews the safety and efficacy of both the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines which have been federally authorized. 

"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 in a news release. "Having two vaccines to combat COVID-19 will help us begin to recover from this destructive pandemic."

The announcement on Sunday comes shortly after the first shipments of the second virus vaccine rollout. The first doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to start arriving from the federal government this week.

In the statement, the governor’s office said the storage of the vaccine is logistically easier and should help get the vaccine to all areas in the state. 

The FDA and CDC granted their initial authorization of the Moderna vaccine on Friday. The Pfizer vaccine was authorized last week and healthcare facilities across Washington state have started administering vaccines.