TUESDAY, Oct. 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — California is not going to allow the use of any COVID-19 vaccines until its own panel of experts approves them, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday.
Vaccinations “will move at the speed of trust,” Newsom said, and the state wants its own review regardless of who wins the presidential election, theAssociated Pressreported. “Of course, we won’t take anyone’s word for it,” Newsom said. The governor named 11 doctors and scientists who will review any vaccines approved by the federal government or vaccine developers. Newsom’s statement may mean that Californians will not get a vaccine as distribution starts in other states, the AP said.
Jeffrey Klausner, M.D., a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, told theAPthat the people on the panel are a renowned group and should be able to make credible decisions fast. “I wouldn’t interpret this as a delay in distribution. I would interpret this as an effort to make sure that distribution is equitable and timely,” he said. “The people in this group are among the most reputable public health advocates in the state.”
The group includes current and former members of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Klausner noted, so any disagreement with the federal panel “could have substantial impact on that particular vaccine product.”