Western States Workgroup recommends continuation of J&J distribution

Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

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Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation to pause Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine distribution April 13, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup concluded Saturday that the vaccine is “safe,” “effective” and that distribution should resume in the western states.

According to a press release from California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, the FDA continued distribution of the vaccine nationwide Friday after the federal vaccine safety review panel completed its review. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommended that California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington continue distribution as well to help control the pandemic and reduce COVID-19 risk.

The workgroup also recommended that vaccine information sheets be written in multiple languages to help facilitate conversations between those who receive the vaccine and their healthcare providers, the press release states.

“After additional review, analysis and scrutiny, experts have concluded the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe, effective and will protect you against the COVID-19 virus,” Newsom said in the press release. “I encourage all Californians to trust the science, getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves and our loved ones and end the pandemic.”

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Veronica Roseborough is a deputy news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @v_roseborough.