CII Recommends Role for Industry in Vaccine Roll Out

New Delhi: Indian Industry is keen to continue a strong partnership with the Government in the massive inoculation drive and could play a significant role in this regard. “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” stated Mr. TV Narendran, President Designate Chairman of CII’s Vaccine Task Force, while complementing the various proactive and impactful measures taken by the Government towards supporting the development, distribution and dispensing of COVID-19 vaccines and the effective management of the pandemic.

CII compliments the government on proactive and impactful steps that have been taken towards supporting the development, distribution and dispensing of COVID 19 vaccines and the well-thought management of the pandemic since its outbreak, the CII Press Release said.

“To action the effective roll out of the vaccines, CII has constituted a High-Level Taskforce on Covid-19 Vaccines with the 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”, added Mr. Narendran. Using its pan India network, CII has also been sharing critical data and expertise with NEGVAC as well as engaging in communication and outreach on the vaccination program.

Taking cognizance 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, CII has come out with three key recommendations.

Firstly, 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. Enterprises could also assist in the vaccine rollout for surrounding communities on a CSR basis as well.

It is estimated that such a program 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 program, Industry would fully comply with all the guidelines instituted by the Government.

Secondly, CII suggests 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.

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.

Thirdly, as all vaccines have a finite period of longevity and the matter of possible expiry of many of these vaccines is of national concern, it is 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.

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.

In this most important national mission, CII and its members stand in full support to the Government and is ready to complement with expediting and fast tracking the vaccine roll out. CII has also worked out a detailed communication strategy which seeks to encourage priority groups to come forward and support this national drive, the press release said.

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