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Indian firms express interest in procuring vaccines for employees

Some of them have begun initial checks on vaccines being available to buy after the government covers priority segments

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Several Indian companies are considering buying COVID-19 vaccines for their employees, once they become available commercially.

India vaccinated 148,266 people on Monday, taking the total to 381,305, the health ministry said.

Jindal Steel and Power, Mahindra Group and ITC have begun initial checks on vaccines being available to buy after the government covers priority segments.

Tata Steel said it would get employees inoculated as soon as shots were available commercially.

“ITC would certainly like to extend the vaccination to employees… We have approached vaccine manufactures and are in exploratory talks,” said Amitav Mukherji, Head of Corporate Human Resources.

“We are reaching out to vaccine manufacturers for bulk supply of doses and will try to get these doses after completion of all frontline COVID warriors’ vaccination,” said Pankaj Lochan, Chief Human Resource officer, JSPL.

The company did not give more details on either the number of doses it plans to buy or with whom it was in talks with.

Mahindra Group said it was also interested in buying vaccines for employees.

Unilever said it was strongly encouraging employees to get vaccinated as soon as possible and floated the idea that it could buy shots to share with people in poorer countries.

India is currently using Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being produced in India by the Serum Institute, and a government-backed vaccine developed by India’s Bharat Biotech.

(Edits by EP News Bureau)

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