BioNJ, NJIN Provides Vaccines 101 Briefing to NJ Legislators, Staff

BioNJ and the New Jersey Immunization Network today partnered to provide the NJ Legislature and staff with a briefing on vaccine research and development in the time of COVID. The session included introductory remarks from New Jersey General Assembly Health Committee Chairman Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., and a panel representing Patients as well as experts in vaccine research and development. The event discussed vaccine safety, different types of vaccines, vaccine manufacturing and policy considerations for legislators looking to improve vaccination access to existing vaccines as well as COVID vaccines when approved. 

BioNJ thanks Chairman Conaway, the New Jersey Immunization Network and our panelists -- Erica DeWald, Director of Advocacy, Vaccinate Your Family: The Next Generation of Every Child By Two; Phil Dormitzer, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Viral Vaccines, Pfizer and Paul A. Offit, M.D., Director, Vaccine Education Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia -- for an informative and educational briefing session.  
Senate Will Establish ‘Review & Recovery’ Committee to Investigate COVID Related Crises

The Senate will establish a special committee to investigate a range of issues related to the Coronavirus crisis, working to identify immediate and long-term remedies to the social, governmental and financial problems caused by the pandemic, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. announced. 

The bipartisan “Review and Recovery Committee” will investigate the surge of COVID-19 fatalities in the state’s long term care facilities and prisons, the breakdown of the unemployment system, the disproportionate impact on minority communities, and the multi-year fiscal challenges to state and local government, and other consequences of the biggest public health crisis in a century.

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Bipartisan House Leaders Demand COVID Vaccine Plan

Bipartisan U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce leadership, led by Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), have pressed the Trump Administration to develop a national plan for the COVID vaccine. The letter to White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx urges the administration to develop a comprehensive plan for vaccine development manufacturing, distribution, training, public education and access. 

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Murphy Administration Proposes Significant Budget Cuts as Part of Revised Fiscal Plan to Weather COVID-19 Crisis

The Department of the Treasury delivered a budget update to the Legislature, providing a detailed revenue report that illustrates the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on New Jersey’s finances and laying out plans to close the looming gap for the remainder of the extended fiscal year through a series of deep cuts and spending deferrals.

A report on the financial condition of the State budget for both Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 was required pursuant to the COVID-19 Fiscal Mitigation Act (P.L.2020, c.19), which extended the end of the state’s fiscal year from the traditional date of June 30 to September 30, and also extended various tax filing and payment deadlines from April 15 to July 15. 

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New Jersey Launches PPE Supplier Registry to Facilitate Access to COVID-19 Protective Gear

New Jersey recently launched the PPE Supplier Registry to connect suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) that can prevent the spread of COVID-19 with potential buyers. Wholesale vendors with PPE inventory such as surgical or other protective masks, hospital gowns, hand sanitizer, or COVID-19 test kits can submit details on supplies they have available and hospitals, medical organizations, and private businesses can purchase. 

The registry is a joint effort by the Office of Governor Murphy, the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Office of Innovation, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Office of Economic Transformation. 

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$68.8 Million in Emergency Assistance to New Jersey Colleges to be Available Through Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund 

A total of $68.8 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds will be available to New Jersey’s public colleges and universities to help institutions continue providing high-quality educational services to students amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding from the U.S. Department of Education through the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund provided Governors flexibility through an emergency block grant to decide how best to meet the needs of students, schools, postsecondary institutions and other education-related organizations in their states. Given the significant financial burdens that institutions of higher education are facing due to the unprecedented public health emergency, Governor Phil Murphy is focusing the GEER funds on New Jersey postsecondary institutions.  

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NJEDA Announces $50 Million Expansion of Grant Program for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
NJEDA reported that the EDA board approved $50 million in funding on Friday including $5m for the previous round applicant holdovers. That funding will be going out starting today. 

Of the remaining $45 million, there will be broader eligibility for businesses. The likely launch be be around June 8-9. Will be doing webinars prior to make sure there is understanding of how to access the program. Of the $45 million, $15 mIllion will be reserved for companies in Opportunity Zones. 

The EDA is continuing to award loans and has received great feedback from participants on that being a good program.  

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