In an exercise that could benefit over 100 million workers in the formal sector and local communities, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has urged the government to allow companies to vaccinate employees and their immediate family members against covid-19.
New Delhi: In an exercise that could benefit over 100 million workers in the formal sector and local communities, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has urged the government to allow companies to vaccinate employees and their immediate family members against covid-19.
The high-level taskforce on covid-19 vaccines constituted by CII, the apex trade association and advocacy group has also suggested that private providers should also be allowed to vaccinate.
“It is suggested that for ensuring faster rollout and for providing confidence to workers at the workplace, business enterprises could be permitted to vaccinate their employees and immediate family members. Enterprises could also assist in the vaccine rollout for surrounding communities on a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) basis as well. This will provide vaccine access to them," the CII said in its recommendations. The exercise, the CII said, will allow the Government to reach its identified target priority groups quicker, which will be critical for getting the workforce back to work and the economy back on track.
CII suggested that private providers, with appropriate checks and balances, be allowed to vaccinate and support the government to both utilize the available vaccines as well as amplify the number of vaccinations with all necessary norms and compliances. As all vaccines have a finite period of longevity and the matter of possible expiry of many of these vaccines is of national concern, the CII recommended that all stakeholders must contribute in a manner that all vaccines available in the country are well utilised and well in time. “By opening the vaccination process to private sector, the large cohort of those willing to take the vaccines would enable full utilization of the vaccines within the expiry period," the CII said.
“Industry can supplement and contribute to the Government’s program with appropriate checks and balances, throughout the envisaged three phases, so as to further reach out the vaccine to those sections of the population who can contribute to the economic revival of the country" said TV Narendran, President Designate Chairman of CII Vaccine Task Force, that has been constituted with an objective of galvanizing Industry support for distribution and inoculation of the employees of member companies and also in the larger community where members have a role to play through CSR interventions.
Using its pan India network, CII has also been sharing critical data and expertise with The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for covid-19 (NEGVAC) as well as engaging in communication and outreach on the vaccination program.
CII has said that the second phase of inoculating those over 50 years will be a particularly challenging task, with requirements for significantly increased vaccinating sites and vaccinators.
“Industry is involved fully in the massive inoculation to ensure that the vaccines reach those that most need it in an accessible and equitable manner, with the joint support of private and public sector towards this national mission," said the CII.
As India plans to begin covid-19 vaccination of people aged 50 and above and those with comorbidities in March, Rajesh Bhushan, the union health secretary has earlier said that the government is looking at larger involvement of the private sector to drive the nationwide covid-19 vaccination program at a faster pace.