As people worldwide battle COVID-19, India is struggling to contain the spread of the virus and keep its citizens safe. To deal with this chaotic outbreak, Indian authorities have only approved two vaccines: Covishield by Oxford-AstraZeneca, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. Other foreign vaccines, such as the Russian Sputnik V, have only recently been approved by the Ministry of Health for use.
The tragedy and travesty caused by the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic did not subside, and India is already facing the second phase of infection and destruction. The resurgence of COVID-19 cases has presented new challenges to the failing health and economic system.
Indian government, like the rest of the countries, emphasized the priority of vaccination campaigns for healthcare and frontline workers, the elderly and vulnerable citizens. But things are far from being smooth and calm for any of these groups.
The second wave has caught India at its worst. This has hampered the healthcare structure and intensified the economic front’s acquisition planning, business uncertainty, and inefficient operations. These factors are expected to harm India’s working-class the most, especially low waged and migrant workers.
But, with the recent announcement that all adults are eligible for a vaccine, employers across the country are hoping to vaccinate their workers and return to work rapidly. The vaccine economy relationship is going to shape the coming few months in India.
The Indian Economy Lacks Immunity from Distress
The first wave of COVID-19 in India devastated the economy, but the rescue operations announced by the Indian government and the RBI, despite their shortcomings, soothed the blow. To control the damage to the economy, the government announced a series of emergency measures under the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme. The RBI also announced various actions to protect individuals and businesses during the crisis by extending loan moratoriums.
But this time, the relief effort will not help as the government is overwhelmed due to its lack of preparedness. The only option for the government to aid businesses, SMEs and MSMEs, while providing healthcare to citizens is to borrow more. But that will further exacerbate the worsening budget deficit.
COVID Prevention Steps have affected the Economy for the Worse
COVID-19 restrictions have shocked many small businesses and companies across the spectrum, especially those operating in the spheres of tourism, travel and hospitality. During the first wave of the outbreak, restaurants, hotels, and similar businesses were the worst affected and were on a slow path to recovery. Today, most of these businesses are again in danger of dying on the sidewalks as the pandemic worsens.
Preparing the Workforce for a Post-pandemic World
The pandemic taught everyone to deal with the adverse situations in a global emergency. In a post-pandemic world, people need to learn to thrive, revive and rise again. Companies coming out of the crisis have realised that the workforce needs new skills to evolve towards a digital and sustainable future.
Businesses need new resources, such as social and emotional therapies, advanced knowledge and digital skills, to grow and thrive again.
A recent McKinsey Global survey found that 69% of the global workforce considers employee skills need to be developed from a different perspective on talent development rather than the conventions. It is time for companies to build a talent development strategy to define more effective opportunities, such as digital learning and personal workshops.
COVID-19 Vaccines – The Latent Economic Catapult for the World
It is not easy to estimate the exact practical value of vaccines. But what can be fathomed is that they have made an essential contribution to reducing the burden of infectious diseases and related deaths historically and even during the ongoing pandemic. To put it in perspective, vaccinations can save 3 million lives every year.
Vaccination can eradicate or control many infectious diseases, and it can keep people healthy and preserve medical devices. Vaccination is a very effective measure and plays an essential role in the functioning of the health system. These include performance-related economic and productivity growth, behavioural productivity and external social factors.
Benefits of Working with Vaccinated Workforce and Vendors
A vaccinated workforce means that a large part of the population is at low risk after getting vaccinated. The only way to defeat COVID-19 and start the journey to economic recovery is by getting vaccines out to the masses and inoculating them.
Vaccine injection and development should be encouraged from different perspectives as it offers a wide range of health and economic (and social) benefits to the people. In today’s world, it is essential to share vaccine information with people and authorities to ensure that the actual value of vaccines is taken into account, as only the mass vaccination drives can curb severe outbreaks.
Promoting Vaccination in the Economic Participants of India
Employers cannot mandate employees’ enrolment for vaccination, but they can guide and train employees to get vaccinated by promoting healthcare in the workplace.
Company Policy in favour of Vaccines
Employers can pay employees who need to be vaccinated. Currently, there are no laws compelling employers to pay employees for the time off for vaccination. But, employers can grant paid leaves to the workers and ask for certified proof of vaccination.
Vaccination Campaigns in the Workplace
The Government of India has recently put forth the “Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccination at Work Places” manual, enabling trained volunteers to conduct vaccination sessions in workplaces. Although the guidelines state that these sessions are to be identified by regional government groups, employers can voluntarily contact the authorities for such initiatives.
Why should you consider vaccination campaigns or awareness programmes for your employees?
By conducting vaccination campaigns for COVD-19 or educating supportive policies and practices, employers can help increase acceptance of the vaccine among their employees. However, COVID-19 vaccine stocks are currently limited, so the processes can be slow. But by sending a clear, complete and accurate message about vaccine efficacy will increase confidence in vaccination decisions, and your staff will be more secure when the vaccine is taken.
As mentioned above, businesses can use government support to run these campaigns. Vaccines can be administered in the workplace for significant health and business benefits. As more and more people get vaccinated, this will result in fewer illnesses, hospitalisations and deaths from COVID-19.
Determination of Vaccine Preferences in the Workplace
The capacity of COVID-19 vaccines is limited in India. Because of these limitations, it is essential to understand how vaccination can reduce the overall burden of disease strategically within constraints.
Companies can follow a more planned strategy to allocate a limited supply of vaccines in the workplace based on age and underlying factors. Older primary workers are often the first to be aimed for immunisation. Regarding the objective scenarios and alternative model, it is possible to prioritise even young direct workers and block them from spreading the virus to the elderly.