How startups and corporate India are driving COVID-19 vaccinations in India
The business community in India has been playing an instrumental role in driving COVID-19 vaccination, helping provide vaccines free of cost, or at subsidised rates, to employees and their families.
While some have made it mandatory for employees to get vaccinated, others have rolled out incentives such as extra days off and gift vouchers to encourage vaccination.
Inoculation has become the need of the hour in India, especially after the ongoing second wave has resulted in thousands and lakhs of deaths.
To ensure even more people get vaccinated, stakeholders in every sphere of society - business, politics, RWAs etc., - need to take initiatives and encourage inoculation.
Here are some companies that have undertaken vaccination drives for their employees:
Essilor says it started its employee vaccination drive early on, and offered half-a-day leave to employees every time they got themselves, their spouses and parents vaccinated.
The country's largest energy conglomerate says it has already vaccinated over 70,000 people across its campuses, including employees and their dependents. It added that it's also planning to vaccinate people living in and around their campuses.
The LIVE online learning startup says it has extended its vaccination drive to all of its employees across India and two immediate family members. It has tied up with multiple healthcare facilities across India.
Ola recently said that it has completed vaccination for 50 percent of its employees who are above the age of 45, and began another drive to inoculate the remaining people, beginning May 18.
The vaccinations have only been done in Bengaluru where the startup is headquartered - but will expand to other cities in the coming weeks.
Amazon said it will cover COVID-19 vaccination cost for not only its employees, but also its operations partner network ecosystem, including Amazon drivers, trucking partners, and their dependents.
The ecommerce giant added it will also enable vaccination of its SMB sellers who have an active listing since last year. The drive is expected to cover costs for more than 10 lakh people associated with Amazon India.
Its on-site inoculation drive kicked off on May 11.
Flipkart said it will cover the vaccination cost for all its employees and five dependents, each. The homegrown ecommerce major has partnered with hospitals to facilitate vaccination camps at its offices in Bengaluru, NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata.
Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages
HCCB has said it will facilitate vaccination of employees, including contracted workers, their spouse or partner, and two children up to the age of 25, wherever possible, or reimburse the amount if they get inoculated separately. Additionally, the company said it will soon launch a drive to get employees in its extended distribution chain to vaccination camps and health centres.
The company said it will extend vaccination to all its employees and dependents, free of cost.
Paytm, on Tuesday, said it has started a free-of-cost COVID-19 vaccination drive for 8,000 of its frontline field service executives, as well as set up dedicated teams to help them with medical and financial support.
The Noida-based fintech major added it has eased deadlines and targets to encourage these field service executives to stay home and spend more time with their families. Dedicated teams to help with medical and financial support have been set up too.
Inoculation of the employees' families will begin as soon as the overall vaccine supply in the country goes up, Paytm added.
"The FSE workforce is the backbone of Paytm. We believe it is our duty to ensure that every FSE and their family members are safe and healthy," a Paytm spokesperson said.
Over 1,000 field service executives have already received the first dose of the vaccine, the startup said.
ShakeDeal said it plans to tie up with a lab to have a vaccination drive at its offices where employees can get vaccinated for free, and as soon as possible.
Alternatively, the company is also looking to extend support to get appointments and reimburse the cost of vaccines for employees.
The startup is facilitating a free and safe vaccination drive for more than 150,000 of its frontline staff and employees.
“Thousands of our delivery partners are already vaccinated,” said founder Deepinder Goyal in a tweet.
IndiQube said it has partnered with Columbia Asia to inoculate its employees, clients, dependants and friends from June 1.
Swiggy has begun the COVID-19 vaccination drive in Bengaluru for its delivery partners and frontline staff of its grocery delivery service Instamart and brand kitchens, in accordance with the vaccination guidelines of the government.
The startup said it will enable quick and free vaccine access and cover the loss of pay for the period the delivery partner spends in getting both doses.
If partners choose to get vaccinated at a government facility, Swiggy will continue to cover the loss of pay for that period.
Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India
The company has said it will cover the cost of Covid-19 vaccination for all its 6000 employees in India and their dependents.
Myntra has set out to vaccinate its frontline staff including the delivery workforce free of cost at its office premises, apart from its own employees and has also extended home care support.
BharatPe announced the rollout of its campaign ‘Covid Vaccination Cashback’.
Launched under ‘BharatPe Cares’, a CSR initiative by BharatPe, this first-of-its-kind of programme aims to create awareness about COVID-19 vaccination amongst the company’s over six million merchant partners, and also encourage them to get vaccinated without delay.
Under the vaccination cashback programme, BharatPe merchants will get a Rs 300 instant cashback in their bank account by scanning their vaccination certificate via the BharatPe app.
The startup said it will fund a vaccination drive at its headquarters for employees and family members.
PepsiCo Foundation has announced an extensive community relief outreach for vulnerable communities across India, with a special focus on five states including Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana.
It aims to provide over one lakh doses of vaccinations to vulnerable communities, which will be administered via the local healthcare system.
In an email to employees, Infosys Chief Executive Officer Salil Parekh said the company has established vaccination centres for employees and their families at seven of its development centres (DC) across the country, and work is in progress to establish them in other DCs.
Infosys has also collaborated with over 130 hospitals across India, where staff and their family members can get vaccinated.