“We have already initiated talks with at least 100 corporate houses. We can start setting up workplace vax centres as soon as we get their response. The need of the hour is to increase speed of vaccination to counter the second wave,” said nuclear cardiologist Alok Roy, chairman, Medica Group of Hospitals.
The Centre’s move comes a week after vaccination for 45+ population was launched as majority of people in this category are professionally engaged in either private of government organisations.
“Earlier, we had reached out to residential complexes and many corporate houses have already approached us. We have started making our own calendar to assess our capacity. We plan to begin with one or two workplace vaccination sites and ramp up later if required,” said Richa Deb Gupta, senior vice president Fortis Hospitals.
“We have already identified around 15 corporate houses. On Thursday, we will start communicating with them on the kind of space and other support we require. We are hopeful of starting at least one such pilot vaccination centre by Monday,” said Rupak Barua, group CEO AMRI Hospitals. Many hospitals, however, said there was need for more clarity on management of AEFI (adverse event following immunization) cases.
“The Centre’s move is welcome since people will have easier access to the vaccine. We will be waiting for clearer guidelines on tackling of AEFI cases and cold-chain facilities,” said Sudipta Mitra, CEO of Peerless Hospitals.
City corporates, many of whom had already tied up with vaccination centres for their employees, initiate the process to bring the vaccination centre to office following the health ministry directive.
“We have already tied up with a centre in Behala for our employees. If vaccination can be arranged at workplace, then it is even better,” said Sanjay Agarwal, managing director of Century Plyboards.
Ghanshyam Sarda, chairman of Sarda Group said his company has already taken steps to vaccinate all eligible employees and subsidize the cost.. “It is our primary duty to ensure the health of our employees,” he said.
Chairman of Merlin Group, Sushil Mohta, too has initiated talks on workplace vaccination.
“It is a welcome move as it will speed up the process of vaccination and will be more convenient. All safety protocols have to be adhered to as is done when vaccination is carried out at healthcare facilities. ITC is already providing support to eligible employees with vaccination under the company’s medical assistance policy,” said Amitav Mukerji, head of Corporate Human Resources at ITC Ltd.