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Western governors say the benefits outweigh the risks for kids as young as 6 months.

PMG FILE PHOTO - COVID-19 vaccinations are now approved in the Western states.Days after both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC approved the use of COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months, the governors of Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada publicly endorsed their use.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said this is a "long-awaited moment" for Oregon parents, who "can be confident in the safety and effectiveness" of these vaccines.

"It is completely normal for parents and kids to have questions about vaccines —— I urge you to reach out to your family doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist and get your questions answered today," Brown said in a statement.

The governors made their statements after a review of the federal decisions by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. The workgroup agreed that the Moderna two-dose vaccine series and the Pfizer 3-dose vaccine series are safe for infants as young as 6 months.

In a release, the workgroup said completing either vaccine series produced antibody levels similar to people between 16-25. "Observed vaccine reactions among infants aged 6-12 months and children aged 1 through 5 years were consistent with reactions to other vaccines routinely recommended for these age groups."

Their conclusion is that The Oregon Health Authority will let health care providers know that COVID-19 vaccinations for kids as young as 6 months could begin in Oregon as quickly as Monday, June 20.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Idaho Gov. Steve Sisolak also issued statements.

Inslee said, "I encourage parents to contact their trusted providers to discuss any questions or concerns. These vaccines remain the most important tool in our continued efforts to keep people safe from severe COVID illness or hospitalization."

Newsom also said the vaccines are safe and effective, adding, "California has pre-ordered nearly 400,000 doses that can be administered at the more than 8,500 vaccine sites throughout the state."

"Vaccines protect against serious illness," Sisolak said, "and I offer my thanks to all those who continue to serve on the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup to confirm the recommendations and guidance for COVID-19 vaccines."

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.


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