Governor Inslee of Washington promised to create a panel of experts to review the safety of vaccines back in October 2020:

Washington will be joining other western states to take steps to review the safety and efficacy of coroanvirus vaccines when they are approved by the FDA, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday.

As part of the pact with western states, a panel of experts will be reviewing the vaccines to make sure they work and to ensure people feel comfortable getting the vaccine.

Likewise a group of African American doctors was formed in September 2020 to vet COVID vaccines:

As trust in federal health agencies has withered over the last few months, a group of Black physicians has been working on an antidote: creating their own expert task force to independently vet regulators’ decisions about Covid-19 drugs and vaccines as well as government recommendations for curbing the pandemic.

But I didn't hear anything about these panels in the end, with Democratic leaders happily urging their constituents to go get vaccinated as soon as the Pfizer shot got the Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA. Or perhaps these vaccine panels did come into existence but found the vaccines to be safe?

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    For context, keep in mind that these groups were formed during a time when there was significant concern that the President was applying pressure to have vaccines approved before election day for political reasons, such as the White House attempting to shorten the time period that clinical trial participants needed to be followed after vaccination (the FDA ultimately stood their ground). The President's hydroxychloroquine advocacy also caused concerns. Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 5:34
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    By the time the vaccines were ultimately authorized, this was no longer a significant concern, and the vaccines had the unanimous backing of well-trusted public health leaders. Furthermore, the first groups to get vaccinated were mainly medical professionals, who lent further credibility to the vaccines' safety. As such, these panels didn't receive as much public attention when they announced their results. Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 5:41
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    @ZachLipton Your link doesn't offer any evidence supporting the motives you impute to the White House. Moreover, is there any evidence for your premise, that confidence in the vaccine has increased since that time?
    – Hasse1987
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 1:42
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    @Hasse1987 why do you think the link needs to provide evidence of the motives of the White House? That's completely unnecessary. All that's needed is for others to BELIEVE that the White House had those motives. And lots of people did. Including me, since it was so incredibly obvious.
    – barbecue
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 16:22
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    @Hasse1987 He didn't say those exact words, but he said this "**there was significant concern that ** the President was applying pressure..." This means the same thing. Significant (lots of people) concern (worried anticipation or belief). You claim that Zach Lipton himself imputed something. All he said was that others imputed something. THAT is what I was pointing out. The point you were disputing is one that was never made by Zach Lipton.
    – barbecue
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 12:31

2 Answers 2


Both panels endorsed the COVID-19 vaccines after conducting a review.

Your quote from Inslee describes what became the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. This news article reports that the workgroup approved the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. Healthcare workers say they feel relief after receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

The group finished its review of the vaccine and the federal process of approving it on Saturday night. The workgroup, made up of scientists and health experts from California, Washington, Nevada and Oregon, endorsed "the transparency and objectivity of the process, and the rigor, validity and reliability of the federal analyses" of the Moderna vaccine, according to a press release.


This is the second vaccine approved by the workgroup, the first being the Pfizer vaccine, which has already been given to healthcare workers across California and the United States.

The group of African-American doctors was a National Medical Association committee led by Dr. Leon McDougle. This story gives an update from February 2021.

As the current president of the National Medical Association, McDougle appointed a committee of Black doctors, including infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists, to study the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“We look at the data from the perspective of Black doctors serving the Black community,” McDougle said.

The panel noted that thousands of Black people participated in trials for the two vaccines, about 10% of the total, and found that the vaccines were safe and effective.

“We are confident in the findings,” said McDougle, who has not received the vaccine yet but tells his patients he’ll get it as soon as he’s allowed.

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    Many comments deleted; Politics isn't really the place to discuss the workings of the vaccines. Perhaps a claim about vaccines conspiracies can be debunked on Skeptics. Questions about the vaccine trials might be on-topic on the Medical Sciences or Biology sites.
    – JJJ
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 17:43
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    @JJJ vaccines and vaccinations are now deeply intertwined with politics, whether you like it or not.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 17:44
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    @RonJohn still, an endless back-and-forth in the comments isn't going to help anyone. Where the results of medical findings meet Politics (like the topic of this question) it's on-topic. But to question findings from medical professionals is more of a battle between medical experts which we are not equipped for.
    – JJJ
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 17:50
  • @JJJ Is the distinction you're looking for that Politics can describe politically-relevant technical positions, but is not the forum for evaluating them?
    – fectin
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 14:51
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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JJJ
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 20:21

The panels approved the vaccines.

Gov. Jay Inslee today [12/20/20] announced the authorization of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. [Link]


Gov. Jay Inslee today [12/13/20] announced the authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccine by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. The governor was joined for the announcement by workgroup members Drs. Ed Marcuse and John Dunn and State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy.

The announcement comes after the FDA and CDC granted their initial authorization to the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. [Link]

See also announcements about J&J and Pfizer for adolescents, the latter announcement which occurred in May, i.e. the groups are still active.

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