California will review federally-approved COVID-19 vaccines before distributing

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday that his administration will require an independent group to verify the safety of federally-approved vaccines for the coronavirus before distributing them.

The governor said the review is happening regardless of who is president. 

“Of course, we don’t take anyone’s word for it. We will do our own independently-reviewed process with our world-class experts,” Newsom said. 

The new scientific safety group is made up of 11 leaders and researchers from across the state. 

When exactly the group’s work will begin depends on how soon the Food and Drug Administration approves a COVID-19 vaccine. 

“The sober reality is the expectation should not and cannot be this calendar year. For the overwhelming majority of us to get to where we need to go as a nation, as a state, that will not happen until 2021,” Newsom said. 

With limited supply and storage capacity expected once a vaccine is approved, Newsom’s administration has already decided who will get it first. Priority will go to those most vulnerable to the virus, including the elderly or those living in long-term care facilities, the disabled, essential workers, minorities, rural communities and those who are incarcerated.  

Newsom’s administration did not say how long it could take the safety group to review a vaccine.

Newsom said California Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly will discuss new guidelines for sports and theme parks on Tuesday. Ghaly is also expected to announce other interventions for counties that continue to struggle with virus positivity and hospitalization rates. 

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