After Infosys, Accenture, ICICI Bank and others, another multinational corp is leading the charge to vaccinate its employees and their kin. US-based IT major Cognizant will vaccinate over 6 lakh people in India and bear all costs.
Cognizant's vaccination drive will cover 2 lakh of its employees in the country as well as their families. Moreover, the company will cover the cost of vaccination for 50,000 contingent staff such as contract, support and security personnel along with their families.
"Our employees have been instrumental in facilitating critical services to millions of people around the world, including those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, through their work with our clients and communities. We are proud of the several actions we took over the past year to address the challenges faced by our employees in rising to the situation with empathy, initiative, and courage," Rajesh Nambiar, Chairman, and Managing Director, Cognizant India, said in a statement.
During the pandemic, Cognizant started new initiatives to ensure the well-being of its employees. For instance, the 24x7 Employee Assistance Programme provides support to employees and their families with valuable advice over the phone to overcome challenging times. Then, there were new policies in place to allow involuntary absence of 14 days for quarantine and a follow-up sick leave when necessary. The IT giant also rolled out special scheme for insurance, where employees can be pay top-up to avail COVID-19 treatment costs.
Other IT giants cover vaccine costs
Cognizant isn't alone in offering free vaccination opportunity to its employees by bearing the costs involved. Accenture and Infosys recently announced that their employees would also get vaccination for free of cost. Accenture has 2 lakh employees in India and Infosys has over 2.4 lakh employees globally.
India is offering the COVID-19 vaccine at the cheapest cost as compared to other countries. At Rs 250, eligible candidates can get vaccinated at their turn in a private hospital while government hospitals are giving the jab free of cost.
For the sake of comparison, China is charging Rs 2,200 for a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the US is charging Rs 1,400, Saudi Arabia charges Rs 390 and India is at the lowest at Rs 250 per dose.