As India’s daily Covid-19 cases have dropped to one lakh and twenty thousand, Indian states are slowly phasing out the regular lockdown. Meanwhile, tech companies — Amazon, Flipkart, Bigbasket, Uber, Ola, Dunzon, Swiggy, Zomato and others — that are heavily dependent upon its frontline workers have already started a free vaccination drive for these workers.
The steps were taken by these tech startups after the government in April, 2021, had reiterated its commitment towards the free of cost vaccination to Health Care Workers (HCWs), Front Line Workers (FLWs), and all people above 45 years of age.
Here’s a run through the various tech companies’ vaccination plans for their frontline workers/staff.
Amazon To Cover Vaccine Cost Of 1 Mn Partners, Sellers Employees
Having announced a $25 Mn Amazon Relief Fund and Partner Support Fund for its partners and vendors, Amazon India has now announced plans to cover the vaccination cost of 1 Mn people. This will cover not only all its India employees and associates but also its operations partner network ecosystem of delivery service partner associates, including Amazon Flex drivers, store partners, trucking partners and also their eligible dependents, the company said in its blog.
The Amazon Relief Fund (ARF) was launched in India in April 2020 with a $25 Mn relief fund for partners and continues to provide support to all eligible individuals. ARF can be utilised by qualifying individuals who have been quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19. The company extended the ‘Amazon Relief Fund’ to all eligible delivery associates who are part of the Delivery Service Partner Program, Amazon Flex Program and trucking partners providing transportation support in the event of financial hardships.
Uber Commits $2.5 Mn To Vaccinate 150 Driver-Partners
In May, Uber committed INR 18.5 crore ($2.5 Mn) to compensate the first batch of 150,000 car, auto and moto drivers on the platform for time spent in getting their shots. “Our drive is aimed at telling drivers they’re not alone in their battle against COVID-19. All drivers showing valid digital vaccination certificates will be eligible for INR 400 for each of their two shots. Drivers who’re able to show they’ve been vaccinated before April 30 will also be able to claim the funds,” said the company in its statement.
Earlier, the company had pledged INR 10 Cr worth of free rides to help people get to and from the nearest vaccine centres. In 2020, the Uber Care Driver Fund claims to have disbursed grants to over 100,000 drivers.
Dunzo Commits To Vaccinate 95% of Its Partners Within Next Three Weeks
Bengaluru-based hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo too has recently announced plans to vaccinate its delivery partners. Announcing the vaccination plan, the company said, “Our aim is to vaccinate every single Dunzo Delivery Partner, with close to 95% of our partners receiving the first dose of the vaccine within the next 3–4 weeks. We will be conducting these drives in phases across all cities, with Chennai and Bangalore already underway. The systematic rollout of this campaign will help us procure enough doses of Covishield and Covaxin so that no Delivery Partner is left behind in the mass vaccination exercise.”
The company has partnered with Rotary Club, and the Greater Chennai Corporation is also working with healthcare providers such as Apollo and ACT Grants to support partners and their families getting diagnostic and medical aid should and when they need it.
Zomato And Swiggy’s Vaccination Drive For Delivery Partners
In May, 2021, online food delivery platform Swiggy announced plans to vaccinate its delivery fleet and frontline staff including Instamart delivery partners and those who work in the company’s cloud kitchens.
The company will also start showing the vaccination status of its delivery partners on its platform. While a few thousand delivery partners have already received the first dose of the vaccine, the company aims to vaccinate all in the next few weeks.
Company’s COO Vivek Sundar said, “Our delivery partners and frontline staff continue to assist consumers, especially through the recent movement restrictions. Swiggy has been advocating the need for them to get priority access to the vaccination. The vaccination drive is a proactive step in ensuring their safety and also that of our consumers. Thousands of partners have already received their first dose and we are confident that a large portion of our fleet will participate and get themselves vaccinated in the coming weeks.”
Another food delivery platform Zomato has also taken similar steps in vaccinating its frontline workers and staff. Company’s CEO Deepinder Goyal had earlier tweeted,
“Last week, we started vaccinating our delivery partners in NCR. In one of the largest efforts of its kind, we are facilitating a free and safe vaccination drive for more than 150,000 of our frontline staff and employees. Thousands of our delivery partners are already vaccinated.”
Among other companies, Flipkart, in May, started its vaccination drive for Flipkart and Myntra’s frontline workers. The company said that it would also cover the vaccination cost for all its employees and five dependents, each.
Similarly, BigBasket is organising camps at its partner hospitals for the free vaccination of its delivery partners and staff. “As vaccine availability is becoming better, we are hopeful of vaccinating the workforce by the July-end,” said T N Hari, HR head at the company.