CBF Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Monthly Newsletter

CBF Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

October 2023

Updated COVID-19 Boosters Now Available


On September 12, the updated COVID vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer were formally authorized, and are now starting to roll out across the United States, amid a rise in COVID cases locally and nationally. Updated COVID shots will be available to everyone age 6 months and older through health care providers and county public health departments, as well as at health centers and pharmacies (like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Safeway).

In a Sept. 13 statement, the California Department of Public Health said that “initial supplies” of the new vaccine were expected to roll out “in the coming weeks” for distribution through the state’s MyTurn.gov site. Right now, My Turn only advises Californians to “contact your healthcare provider for more information” and promises that “state programs for the uninsured or under-insured are coming soon.”

Health officials are prioritizing certain populations to get the new updated COVID shot including, people age 65 and over, those with weakened immune systems or certain other medical conditions that increase their risk of getting severely sick, hospitalized or dying from COVID, as well as pregnant people.

Widespread distribution of the new COVID vaccines might take a little while to get up and running, so it is important to check state and local resources to see when they will be offering the new COVID vaccine. To find a vaccine appointment near you contact your healthcare provider or visit:

For more information about the updated COVID-19 vaccine, view this article or visit the CDC website.

CBF Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month


September 15th marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. Running through October 15th, it’s an important time of year to recognize the many historic and ongoing contributions of Hispanic Americans to American life. Hispanics and Latinos have contributed a great deal to science, medicine, and biotechnology over the years. Please join CBF in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by learning more about some of the many Hispanic and Latinx leaders in California who have made important contributions to the life science industry.

Mel Abreu is the Senior Director of Marketing at South San Francisco-based Genentech. Learn more about Genentech’s groundbreaking work and their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Laura Ayala is the VP of Marketing and Customer Experience for Redwood City-based Karius Inc. She was also awarded Silicon Valley Business Journal Women of Influence 2023. Learn more.

Grace Colón, Ph.D. serves as an advisor for South San Francisco-based InCarda Therapeutics brings over 25 years of experience in biopharma, genomics, healthcare and industrial biotechnology. Most recently, she was CEO and President of InCarda Therapeutics where she led the company from a seed stage start-up to one with a best-in-class inhaled cardiovascular disease therapy. Watch this interview with Dr. Colón.

Miguel Motta serves as the VP of Strategic Operations for Biocom CA where he is responsible for customizing and delivering the Biocom CA benefits to their San Diego members. Read more here.

Diana Ramos, M.D. is the Surgeon General of California. She is a well-recognized public health leader dedicated to improving health care quality and equity. Read this interview with Dr. Ramos.

Alberto Zacarias serves as the Head of Strategic Management for AbbVie in South San Francisco where he helps work to define and advance the goals, mission, and culture of AbbVie. Learn more.

Willie Zuñiga is the emeritus president of Los Angeles-area Grifols Biologicals. For decades, he has led initiatives aimed at supporting life science education and workforce development within CSU Los Angeles and the surrounding communities. Learn more here. Watch this presentation from Mr. Zuñiga.

Learn more about Latinos in Bio here.

Stay informed on the latest news and trends on the economic and health benefits of this industry by visiting CABiotech.org

If you have any questions about hosting informational briefings for your colleagues serving in the legislature, contact California Biotechnology Foundation Executive Director Patty Cooper at (916)764-2434 or [email protected].