The response from our members and the life sciences industry at-large to the COVID-19 pandemic has been amazing and is a testament to why Massachusetts truly is the State of Possible. We know that navigating this new reality is no easy feat, so we’ve compiled a set of helpful resources for our members: state issued reopening rules for the life sciences industry, information on Massachusetts’ vaccine distribution plans, ways to give back to the community, and more. Keep up the amazing work you are all doing and we will get through this.

Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, President & COO, MassBio

Massachusetts’ Updated Guidance on Vaccine Prioritization

Governor Baker recently announced that Phase 2, Group 3 (“Essential workers”) will become eligible to receive the vaccine starting on Monday, March 22. This group includes two categories relevant for the life sciences industry: “vaccine development workers” and “medical supply chain workers.” After this, residents ages 55+ and residents with one certain medical condition become eligible starting on April 5, and the general public ages 16+ becomes eligible starting on April 19.

As part of this announcement, the Baker Administration also updated the definition of “medical supply chain worker” and created a new definition for “vaccine development workers” (detailed below). These definitions are broad and can be interpreted in different ways. Therefore, we continue to encourage each of our member companies to make an individual determination about whether either or both of these definitions applies to their workforce.

  • Medical supply chain workers: Workers directly involved in the manufacturing and production, packaging, transport, quality control, and sale of materials critical to the delivery of medical care.
  • Vaccine development workers: Workers directly involved in research, development, manufacturing and production, packaging, transport, quality control, and sale of vaccines (COVID-19 and others).

Based on the Administration’s prior comments and the process for signing up for an appointment, eligibility verification is based on the “honor system” and each individual has to certify they are included in an eligible Phase/Group.

To learn more about the registration process, including the option to pre-register for the mass vaccination sites, please visit the state’s COVID-19 webpage.

Critical Savings for PPE, Office Supplies, and Services During COVID-19

All of our members are trying to find new efficiencies to do more with less and MassBio is here to help. Through the MassBio Edge, our members are able to purchase critical PPE, office supplies, and environmental and lab services and supplies at a discounted rate. See how you can reap the savings from our Preferred Partners, including Thermo Fisher Scientific, Veolia Environmental Services, Middlesex Gases, W.B. Mason, and IPP, among others, to aid in the transition back to the office and lab. Learn more here.

Reopening Massachusetts – State Rules and Guidance

Massachusetts is currently in Phase 3, Step 1 (as of December 13, 2020) of its Reopening Massachusetts plan. Of note for the life sciences industry, the current capacity and gathering limits do not apply to life sciences labs or manufacturing environments. However, the 25% capacity limit on offices does apply industry wide.

As of June 1, 2020, the state issued sector specific guidance for safe reopening including for laboratories and manufacturing.

Massachusetts Life Sciences Companies Working to Address COVID-19

MassBio has compiled a list of all life sciences companies headquartered or that have a presence in Massachusetts that are working diligently to develop diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics related to COVID-19. View the list here.

Take Advantage of MassBio Virtual Benefits

As we say often, our members are constantly evolving, and MassBio is evolving right along with them. While we all get accustomed to working from home, practicing social distancing, and holding our events and meetings virtually, MassBio has been working on several new initiatives to engage our members in their new virtual settings. Learn more about these efforts and take advantage of our virtual benefits today.