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

The Baker Administration has issued updated guidance around the definition of “medical supply chain workers” as included in Phase 2 of the state’s vaccination prioritization plan. This is a significant and positive change.

Medical supply chain workers

  • Workers at manufacturers (including biotechnology companies and those companies that have shifted production to medical supplies), materials and parts suppliers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, printers, packagers, distributors of medical products and equipment (including third party logistics providers, and those who test and repair), personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation barriers, medical gases, pharmaceuticals (including materials used in radioactive drugs), dietary supplements, commercial health products, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies (including dispensers), sanitary goods, personal care products, pest control products, and tissue and paper towel products.

As of February 26th, based on public statements by the Baker Administration and the current status of Phase 2 Group 2, we are currently not expecting vaccinations of Phase 2 Group 3, which includes “medical supply chain workers” to begin until mid-March at the soonest.

We expect that individuals may be asked at their vaccination appointment for one of the following:

  • Insurance card. Vaccination is free whether you have insurance or not. if you have insurance, please bring that information with you.
  • Identification, examples include:
    • Employer-issued ID card that includes your name and title; or
    • Government-issued identification or license; or
    • Recent paystub

All Phase 2 eligible individuals will be able to receive a vaccination at any of the state’s vaccination sites including the many “mass” vaccination sites, CVS & Walgreens, and other sites across the state.

If you have specific questions about your employees’ eligibility within “medical supply chain workers”, we encourage you to work directly with your counsel.

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.