Private firms in India have committed to vaccinate 1.5-2 crore people not limited to staff but also their family members, contractual workers, and in some cases, even local communities.
How Corporates Benefit
The firms intend to reach this target in the next 2-3 months which is subject to vaccine demand.
Executives at the top opine that if their inoculation drive goes successfully, their employees will be able to return to offices sooner.
But they are still on the fence regarding vaccine procurement as per unclarified revision of vaccine norms by the govt.
Speeding Up Vaccination Drive
Reliance Industries (RIL), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, ITC, Vedanta, RPG Group, Amazon, and Cognizant are among big corporates who have accelerated their inoculation drives over the past few weeks.
Among them, TCS has estimated a requirement of 10 lakh doses to vaccinate its workforce (which stands at 450,000), their dependents, contractual associates and families of sister companies within the Tata Group.
Demands By Different Industry Bodies
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has already accumulated demand for 70 lakh doses from 2,000 firms across 200 cities.
Another trade body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) wants 60 lakh doses for 500 of its members.
National Association of Software and Service Companies or NASSCOM has projected 1 crore people to be vaccinated should these demands be fulfilled.
Vaccination of construction workers is being organised by National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) and demand is being collected by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) across the industry.
Confusion Over Procurement
Niranjan Hiranandani, Managing Director of Hiranandani Group and a fellow member of ASSOCHAM has said that they are awaiting further clarity regarding procurement of vaccines by corporates.
Vaccine norms laid out earlier by the govt said that from June 21, the Centre will collect 75% of total vaccines produced.
This will be distributed to states for free.
The remaining 25% will be up for grabs exclusively by private health organisations.
To Deal With Private Firms, Central Govt Or State Govt?
An anonymous CII spokesperson said that they were fulfilling the demand directly by vaccine manufacturers through private hospitals.
Ongoing talks also sought to rope in vaccines directly from foreign manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson.
However, with the govt’s newly issued norms, the private sector is unsure whether they should place their demands on the states instead.
There is also confusion among domestic vaccine manufacturers on whether to take new orders whereas foreign players have said that they will only deal with the central govt.