India Inc could play a significant role in the massive anti-Covid inoculation drive, industry body CII said on Thursday.
“Industry can supplement and contribute to the Government’s programme 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,” TV Narendran, President Designate Chairman of CII’s Vaccine Task Force was quoted as saying in a statement.
Accordingly, to action the effective roll out of the vaccines, CII has constituted a High-Level Taskforce on Covid-19 Vaccines with the objective of galvanising 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.
Besides, the industry body has taken cognisance of the fact 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.
To effectively deal with the challenge, CII has come out with three key recommendations.
“First, consider industry participation in ramping up the vaccination programme. 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,” the statement said.
“Enterprises could also assist in the vaccine rollout for surrounding communities on a CSR basis as well.”
It is estimated that such a programme could benefit an additional 100 million workers in the formal sector and local communities by providing access to the vaccine.
“While contributing to the Government’s programme, Industry would fully comply with all the guidelines instituted by the Government.”
Secondly, CII suggested that private providers, with appropriate checks and balances, be allowed to vaccinate and support the government to both utilise the available vaccines as well as amplify the number of vaccinations with all necessary norms and compliances.
“The exercise 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.”
In the third recommendation, CII said by opening the vaccination process to private sector, the large cohort of those willing to take the vaccines would enable full utilisation of the vaccines within the expiry period.
“CII has suggested that industry be 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.”
“CII has also worked out a detailed communication strategy which seeks to encourage priority groups to come forward and support this national drive.”