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J&J vaccine gains support of Western States workgroup

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup last night completed its review of the federal process and has concluded the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine is safe and efficacious for use in the Western states.

The workgroup provided its confirmation to the governors of California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington on Wednesday, making the Janssen vaccine the third COVID-19 vaccine supported for use in these states. Shipments are arriving this week.

“With the review of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has again come together to ensure we have a safe, effective vaccine available to our residents,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said. “Their review of this vaccine should give Nevadans added confidence to say ‘yes’ to any of the three vaccines offered.

“The availability of COVID-19 vaccine is crucial as we continue our response and efforts to protect the health of our communities and our state. I am so proud of the work being done on the ground at vaccination sites statewide — more than 690,000 doses administered — and I offer my gratitude and thanks to all of those working for their fellow Nevadans.”

Washington, Oregon and Nevada joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup in October. The workgroup, made up of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, has concurrently and independently reviewed the Food and Drug Administration’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccinations. It will continue to evaluate other COVID-19 vaccines as they go through the federal process.

“The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup gives us further confidence around the safety and efficacy of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said. “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. 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.”

“After thorough scientific review by doctors and health experts, we now have three safe and effective vaccines available for Oregonians,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said. “And, because the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be stored in standard refrigerators and vaccinate individuals in a single dose, it gives us the ability to vaccinate even more people. We will work to distribute vaccines as quickly and equitably as possible as we move forward to vaccinate seniors, people with underlying health conditions, frontline workers and all Oregonians.”

Sisolak also said the newest vaccine makes the task easier.

“The Janssen vaccine gives us additional flexibility as we strive to reach all Nevadans,” he said. “This vaccine is easy to use, ship and store, which will help our partners in their mission to reach all our residents. Thank you to my fellow governors for sharing your expertise as we all work to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

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