The COVID-19 Report is a compilation of coronavirus news, analysis, and insights from around the world to help life sciences and health care companies stay current in this challenging time.

In Wednesday's Report: NASEM releases draft framework for equitable COVID-19 vaccine allocation, DOL clarifies FFCRA childcare leave availability, a podcast on crisis management, and new Russian IP rules.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

  • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has released in draft form a report providing recommendations on how to prioritize access to a COVID-19 vaccine, once one is available. The National Academies are preparing the report, called a “consensus study,” at the request of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The draft report is an initial step toward developing federal policy for vaccine distribution and is intended to inform policymakers. The draft report does not set federal policy, but does provide insight food companies may find valuable in planning their COVID-19 management strategies into 2021. The draft report is available for a brief, four-day public comment period, closing Friday, 4 September. Read more here. (Authored by Elizabeth Fawell)

  • On 27 August 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance (in FAQs numbered 98-100) clarifying how the childcare provisions of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) apply to various remote and in-person school situations. The FFCRA generally requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees and many public sector employers to provide paid leave to eligible employees for certain COVID-19 related reasons, including up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave because of the employee’s need to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19. Employees qualifying for this FFCRA childcare leave are entitled to two-thirds of their regular pay, up to $200 per day and $12,000 in the aggregate, for which private employers can claim a fully refundable tax credit. Read more here. (Authored by George W. Ingham)

  • Ivan Zapien, partner and practice leader of the U.S. Government Relations and Public Affairs practice, focuses his podcast on the issues, people, and culture that help shape Washington, D.C. In the latest episode, Ivan chats with Lillian Hardy, partner at Hogan Lovells, and Matthew Miller, partner at Vianovo, about how to manage a crisis in a pandemic, and communicating in the COVID-era.

  • New Rules for consideration of oppositions and related IP cases by the Russian Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent) enter into force on 6 September 2020 replacing Rospatent’s rules of 2003. The Rules provide for electronic filing and case management on the Rospatent website. The Rules broaden the scope of challenge of the tribunal’s members extending it to any situations where the member may be directly or indirectly interested in the outcome of the case or where there is evidence of lack of tribunal member’s impartiality. The Head of Rospatent Mr. Grigory Ivliev noted that by virtue of the new rules the terms for consideration of disputes will be significantly reduced and electronic interaction with the parties will facilitate the work of Rospatent and reduce the COVID-19 related risks. Read more here. (Authored by Vironika Pilyugina)