OLYMPIA — Washington will join a handful of other Western states to review coronavirus vaccines once they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday.
The move is intended “to give Washingtonians the highest confidence that when a [coronavirus] vaccine is available, that it’s safe and works,” the governor said in a news conference.
“This will be an added layer of assurance” for residents “so that we can increase the number of folks that actually get the vaccination,” Inslee added later.
The idea was started by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, with Washington, Oregon and Nevada now part of the group.
Experts will be appointed by each of the states, though Washington has not yet named its own, according to a news release by Inslee’s office.
The announcement comes after the state Department of Health this month released a draft plan to distribute vaccines in phases.
As pharmaceutical firms rush to make, test and produce doses amid the pandemic, Washington and other states must figure out how to quickly and effectively distribute the vaccines.