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Public Policy Newsletter Article

Biocom California Policy Department Welcomes New Faces, California’s Fight Against COVID-19 Pivots, President Biden Takes Office

  • 2021-01-28T16:00:00.000+0000
  • Author: Jimmy Jackson

Last year, we introduced you to a new member of the Biocom California Team, Bay Area Policy Associate Mitzy De La Peña Medina. In two short months on the job, Mitzy is already making a huge difference for our Bay Area members by sharing timely vaccine and health order information, assisting with permitting issues, and forging new relationships with decision makers. In this edition, we introduce you to our newest colleague, Isabel “Izzie” Omer. Izzie is joining Biocom as our Washington DC Regulatory Policy Associate. We believe Biocom is unique among regional associations in having dedicated Bay Area policy and DC regulatory positions; having Izzie on the ground and devoted to regulatory policy allows Biocom California to more quickly and efficiently interact with the industry’s key regulators, and advocate more effectively with them. You can learn more about Izzie here.

As we enter the new year with new perspectives on staff, we are always looking for new perspectives on our policy committees as well. You can have a direct role in setting the direction of Biocom policy via our committees. Learn more about them and how you can participate at this link.

One of the most common questions asked of the policy team over the past few months has been “will life science workers be prioritized in the vaccine distribution and where will they fall?” We have been working nonstop to try to get answers to this question at both the state and local levels; in the latter case, going county by county advocating for our members. Ultimately, the state and most local governments have focused on increased risk of exposure to the virus as the determining factor in prioritization. As you may know, on Monday, January 25, Governor Newsom announced California would be transitioning from primarily an occupation-based prioritization system to one based on age, making life science prioritization largely moot. More details can be found here.

In the meantime, the state’s county by county stay at home order remains in effect. In this article, one can find county-specific resources as our policy team provides you with the information your employees need to get vaccinated within state and county criteria.

Of course, President Joe Biden took office on January 20. In the first days of the Biden Administration, a number of Executive Orders were issued of interest to the life science industry, including invoking the Defense Production Act for supplies needed in the fight against COVID-19. Learn more about these early actions here. Biocom also issued comment on CMS’ proposed Most Favored Nation rule, an issue Biocom California’s Washington office has been heavily engaged in for the past few years.