04 Mar 2021: Infosys and Accenture will bear COVID-19 vaccination costs for employees
Software major Infosys and consulting firm Accenture said it will cover the coronavirus vaccination costs for its employees and immediate family members in India.
In an email statement, Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao said, "Infosys is looking at partnering with health care providers to vaccinate employees and their immediate families as eligible."
The announcement came two days after India ramped up its vaccination drive.
Details: Accenture will fund the vaccination for employees' dependents
On Wednesday, Accenture, an American-Irish multinational company, said it will sponsor the vaccination for its Indian employees.
The cost of vaccinating their eligible dependents, who are willing to receive the doses, will also be covered by the company.
While doses are available for free at government-run facilities, beneficiaries will have to pay at private facilities. But they can't be charged more than Rs. 250/dose.
Vaccines: Mahindra Group started purchasing doses in January
A number of companies, including autos-to-technology conglomerate Mahindra Group as well as consumer goods giant ITC Ltd. had started purchasing COVID-19 vaccines for their employees in January.
Currently, two vaccines — Covishield, developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca and mass produced by Pune's Serum Institute of India (SII), and COVAXIN, developed by Bharat Biotech — is being administered to beneficiaries across India.
Drive: The second phase of vaccination drive started on Monday
The drive started on January 16, with healthcare workers being the first in line for the vaccination. This group was followed by frontline workers.
On March 1, the campaign was diversified by including those aged above 60 as well as those above 45 having co-morbidities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had started the second phase of vaccination by receiving the dose at AIIMS, Delhi.
Efficiency: Yesterday, Bharat Biotech said COVAXIN is 81% effective
Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech said COVAXIN was found to be 81% effective in preventing COVID-19. There were concerns about COVAXIN's efficacy as it was being administered to people before the results of third phase trials were out.
Dismissing the concerns, the Hyderabad-based company also added that the antibodies induced by COVAXIN can neutralize the UK variant strains of the coronavirus along with other heterologous strains.