Newsom said during an Oct. 19 press conference that he’s established a panel of 11 immunization and epidemiology experts from across the state. While there is no proven vaccine for the CCP virus yet, the expert panel is tasked to review the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for distribution, he said.
“The question I often get is ‘Are you going to take someone’s word for it?’ Of course, we don’t take anyone’s word for it,” he said. “We will do our own independently reviewed process with our world-class experts.
“We have to make sure that they’re safe and they’re effective, and that we’re monitoring not just the distributions and the access of vaccines, but monitoring the aftermath and monitoring people’s health long after the vaccines are distributed and applied,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who the next president is.”
In May, the White House launched Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership initiative that aims to ensure rapid distribution as soon as the FDA approves a vaccine and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes recommendations for who are prioritized to receive it.
The current goal is to deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines by January 2021.
Newsom’s announcement follows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressing distrust in Trump administration’s handling of a potential vaccine and urged Americans to be “very skeptical” about vaccines distributed by federal agencies.
“I don’t believe the American people are that confident,” Cuomo told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “You’re going to say to the American people now, ‘Here’s a vaccine, it was new, it was done quickly, but trust this federal administration and their health administration that it’s safe?’ ‘Uh, and um, and we’re not 100 percent sure of the consequences?’ I think it’s going to be a very skeptical American public about taking the vaccine, and they should be.”
When asked what it would take to convince him that the vaccine is safe and effective enough to be distributed, Cuomo said he would only trust the assessments of his own state agencies.
“What I said I’m going to do in New York is we’re going to put together our own group of doctors and medical experts to review the vaccine and the efficacy and the protocol,” he said. “If they say it’s safe, then I’ll go to the people of New York and I will say it’s safe, with that credibility.”