The U.S. Centers for Disease Control ruled Friday that anyone 65 or older, anyone 18 or older with certain underlying health conditions like obesity or diabetes, and anyone at increased risk of COVID-19 because of their job can now get a booster shot six months after their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. According to the Baker Administration, about 600,000 Massachusetts residents are eligible for Pfizer booster shots under these federal eligibility rules.
At the State House, the House adopted a reopening framework featuring a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on House members and employees who wish to work in-person. State Representatives and House employees would be required to prove they are vaccinated by November 1 to work in-person at the State House under the proposal. The proposal also calls for reopening the building on a phased but undated timetable and continuing to livestream all public hearings. This follows Senate President Karen Spilka’s announcement to Senators and staff that they must prove their full vaccination status by October 15, and Governor Baker’s executive order requiring all Executive Department employees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination on or before October 17, 2021.
In response to high employer demand, MassBio’s sister organization, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation, launched the first Life Sciences Apprenticeship Program in Massachusetts. This unique program is registered with the state as an apprenticeship and provides candidates an alternative pathway into the life sciences industry. The program has two tracks, which were purposefully chosen in response to high employer demand — one for biomanufacturing technicians and one for clinical trial associates.
In DC, with the federal fiscal year ending this week on September 30th, Congress will look to act on passage of a continuing resolution that would fund the government until December and avoid the prospect of a partial shutdown. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a Dear Democratic Colleague Letter on Sunday evening highlighting the schedule for the busy legislative week to come. The letter addresses government funding, the Build Back Better Act (reconciliation), and the House’s timeline for considering the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF). According to the letter, the House will vote on the BIF on Thursday, September 30.