Software majors Infosys and Accenture are stepping in to foot the costs of COVID-19 vaccination for their employees and their immediate family.
Pravin Rao, chief operating officer, Infosys, told Moneycontrol that the company is doing it as part of its focus on health and wellness, and is currently looking to partner with a healthcare provider to vaccinate its employees according to approved procedures and timelines.
Infosys has nearly 2.4 lakh employees spread across 40 countries, a majority of whom are currently working from home.
In an interview to a business daily in November last year, Infosys co-founder and chairman emeritus, N R Narayana Murthy, had appealed to companies who can afford to bear the cost to give the vaccines for free. In fact, he said he believed that the vaccine should be a “public good” and everybody should be vaccinated free. These vaccines should be free for the entire population on the planet, said Murthy.
Meanwhile, Accenture in India, the local arm of the American-Irish multinational entity, had earlier issued an official statement declaring that in “these extraordinary times”, it would bear the costs of the vaccination for employees and their dependents who are “eligible and choose to receive it”. They should be part of their medical benefits programme, however.
“As we continue to navigate the pandemic, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our people,” said Rekha M Menon, chairperson and senior managing director, Accenture in India.
The company, which stated that it “strongly supports the scientific and public health advice that encourages vaccination”, has 2 lakh employees in India. Industry data revealed that the IT industry, which is one of India’s sunshine sectors, creates 4.5 million jobs in the country.
On March 1, the Indian government’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out process expanded to include eligible citizens above 60 years of age and 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities. The cost of the vaccine for eligible beneficiaries is capped at ₹250 in private hospitals, while it is free in government facilities.