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Reliance Industries to cover COVID-19 vaccination costs of employees, families

The total employee strength of Reliance Industries is about 6 lakh. The number is nearly 1.9 million when their family members are included.

March 05, 2021 / 08:53 AM IST
 
 
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Reliance Industries Limited is going to cover COVID-19 vaccination costs of its employees and their families.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide vaccination drive on January 16 with healthcare workers at the frontline of India's COVID-19 battle getting their first jabs.

The country has begun the second phase of the vaccination drive in which everyone above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities will be able to get the vaccine.

“Reliance will bear the full cost of vaccination for you, your spouse, your parents, and vaccine-eligible children. You and your family’s safety and well-being is our responsibility. Mukesh and I truly believe that cherishing the health and happiness of our loved ones is what it means to be part of a family – the Reliance Family,” said Nita Ambani, chairperson and founder of the Reliance Foundation, in a statement.

The total employee strength of Reliance Industries, on the roll and off the roll, is about 6 lakh. The number is nearly 1.9 million when their family members are included.

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Earlier, Infosys and Accenture said that they would cover COVID vaccination costs of their employees in India.

"Infosys is looking at partnering with healthcare providers to vaccinate employees and their immediate families as eligible under the guidelines given by the Government of India and as per approved procedures and timelines," Infosys Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao said in an emailed statement.

The company will cover the vaccination cost for the employees and their immediate family members as part of our focus on health and wellness, he had added.

Rekha M Menon, Chairperson and Senior Managing Director of Accenture in India, said the company had continued to monitor and consider the guidance of external experts and groups, including international health organisations and local health authorities.

"Based on this, we strongly support the scientific and public health advice that encourages vaccination... for our people who are eligible and choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, Accenture in India will cover the cost for the employee and their dependents who are part of our medical benefits program," she said.

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd

Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 5, 2021 08:53 am

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