Inslee says any COVID-19 vaccine will get added scrutiny before use in Washington

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Saying the Trump administration has eroded trust in the Food and Drug Administration, Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday any FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine must meet a second approval before being used in Washington state.

Inslee said the state has joined a pact with four other Western states that will assemble a panel of experts to review any vaccine.

He said he didn’t expect that to be a lengthy process, but Washingtonians need assurances if the state expects to get widespread buy-in for a coronavirus vaccine.

“If we get a vaccine, we want it to work,” Inslee said. “It doesn’t do a lot of good to have a vaccine approved by the FDA that never achieves real immunity,” Inslee said. “If people don’t trust the system, some people may not use it.”

There has been skepticism about a vaccine because of comments by President Trump, Inslee contended.

“They’re concerned about whether the system is really credible or not,” Inslee said. “Some of that, unfortunately, has been caused by the sort of ham-handed attempts by the president to monkey with the FDA process.”

The panel of experts that will review the vaccine was started by California Gov. Gavin Newsome, Inslee said. And it will include experts from the other states, including Washington.

Also part of the five-state pact are California, Oregon, Colorado and Nevada.

All five states are led by Democratic governors.