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COVID-19 vaccination | Companies get ready to deal with employees who refuse to take the shot

The Centre has made it clear that the choice of taking the COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary.

January 25, 2021 / 09:39 AM IST
Representative image

Representative image


India has started a vaccination drive against novel coronavirus infection with healthcare workers at the frontline of the country’s COVID-19 battle getting their first jabs.

The beginning of the inoculation drive has posed a challenge before multinational companies operating in India and big domestic firms that how to deal with employees who refuse to take coronavirus vaccine when they return to the office, reported Business Standard.

According to the report, a top European business group with representatives from leading companies is planning to request the government to issue guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination. For this, it is looking to approach the government through national industry associations as well European Union bodies, it said.

“We have had a discussion on this issue and plan to seek guidance from the government,” said the report citing a senior executive of a European major. However, any talk on this issue would happen only after the first round of vaccination is over, the official added.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

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.

How many types of vaccines are there?

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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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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“Employment is a private contact between employee and employer. The terms can be changed by the latter and need to be accepted. One has to see whether incorporating the clause is lawful and or not. In this case, the intention is clear -- protecting the employees,” Sanjeev Kumar, a partner in Luthra & Luthra Partners, told the publication.

As per HR firms, the move will depend on the nature of the job, the report stated. For instance, in firms where work can be done remotely, there will be no problem or change required. However, for jobs that require working in close proximity, companies could mandate taking the COVID-19 vaccine for new recruitment as well as current employees, Rituparna Chakraborty, co- founder and executive president of TeamLease was quoted as saying.

The Centre has made it clear that the choice of taking the COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary.

India’s drug regulator has approved two vaccines - Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) -- for emergency use in the country.

Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 25, 2021 09:39 am

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