Amid Covid-19 vaccine crunch, India Inc steps in to inoculate employees
Many of India’s largest conglomerates and companies are focusing on vaccinating their employees , largely through partnerships with private health care providers and, in some cases, government vaccination centres.
The list of companies that are doing this includes Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest employer in the IT sector (it employs around 400,000 people ), M&M, Ashok Leyland, and Sundaram Clayton.
Many of the companies are also extending the facility to families of their employees.
In most cases, the shots, for both the employees and their families, are free.
In a statement TCS said it started vaccination camps in a few cities in early May and has now increased the scale of its drive. “TCS is setting up over 100 CVCs (COVID Vaccination Centres) across India; this includes CVC’s across TCS offices in 21 cities and CVCs launched with our primary medical partner across 33 cities. For associates that do not have access to CVCs in these areas, we are also enabling access to vaccination centers via a national network of more than 650 hospitals,” the company said in a statement.
Another IT firm Accenture, said in a communication that it is organizing vaccinations in Bengaluru and NCR and has asked employees to register for appointments two days in advance.
In all cases, the employees have to register on the Co-win portal of the government, but will not have to worry about scheduling appointments -- a process that has become difficult even in private vaccination centres given the crunch in vaccine supplies.
Arjun Vaidyanathan, COO of KPMG in India, said the firm has tied up with Ekincare to provide vaccination for employees in more than 150 centres across the country. The centres cover all KPMG office locations and many that are not -- some employees are working from other locations. “We have already had our vaccination camps in Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Mumbai. Rest of the locations will follow in due course,” said Arjun.
Employees are delighted. Mukul Dikshit, senior consultant at EY and his colleague Divya Deora posted pictures of a vaccination camps in their Kolkata office on Linkedin. Deora also commented: “Indeed we are building a better working world.”
Till Tuesday evening, India had administered 200.5 million vaccinations. This breaks up into 43.4 million fully vaccinated people (both doses), and 113.5 million people who have received one dose.
Last year, the government mooted a proposal to allow companies in strategically important sectors to negotiate directly with vaccine manufacturers for doses for their workforce. An official said that the current system is better as it allows any company to tie up with health care companies.
N V Balachandar, Ashok Leyland’s President, HR & CSR, said in a statement that vaccination camps have been organised for employees and their families and “about 75% of the 45+ age group in the company have been vaccinated so far. Across age groups, 25% have been vaccinated as we speak, this vaccination drive will continue with huge momentum.”
Mahindra & Mahindra’s spokesperson said that “100% of first vaccination has been achieved for all Mahindra employees above 45 years” and the company is also working with hospitals to set up vaccination clinics across the country. Similarly, TVS Motor Company and Sundaram Clayton Ltd. have vaccinated all employees above 45 years. “All employees above the age of 18 years at our Hosur, Mysore, and Bangalore offices are now being vaccinated in collaboration with various hospitals and PHCs,”the company said in a statement.
Godrej & Boyce will start its vaccination drive through the Godrej Memorial Hospital (GMH) in Mumbai while Cement producer LafargeHolcim has arranged for the vaccination of all its employees and families.