As corporate India gears up to engage in an employee oriented welfare scheme to vaccinate them and theirs, the query that may crop up most often may be that “Will the Govt facilitate the process or will the local bureaucracy impose meaningless restrictions?” Such as “Cannot vaccinate in-laws“, “Cannot vaccinate partner if not married“, “Need to obtain permission in triplicate from local authority to reschedule appointment” etc (Disclaimer : I am just stating these in a lighter vein)
Finances would not be an issue at all, as for this important task at hand, budgetary allocations within the corporate budget would already have been made, and the private healthcare system is already geared up to ably match the requirements, with their ‘pay for jab’ model. Commercial supply chain logistics mechanisms may bring in efficiency, if the Govt plays ball, and permits Vaccine Manufacturers to deliver on commitments. Only time can tell how this plays out.
However, this post is about the other hidden paradigm i.e dealing with issues surrounding vaccination, which essentially is a voluntary activity, requiring the active endorsement and participation of the rank and file of a company. The corporate sector does not exist in isolation, their employees are a part of the same society as every citizen of the country.
Corporate leadership and HR professionals will appreciate in due course, once the initial heady, feel good factor of getting and giving jabs is done and over with, that there is definite scope for focused campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy, vaccine anxiety and even vaccine envy, while also needing to decide on an organizational approach to ‘Anti vaxxers’. Think ahead! Six months down the line, would you want 10% of the workforce on the shop floor or in the office building, unvaccinated ? Keep in mind that vaccination remains a voluntary action.
This situation provides an opportunity for philanthropic agencies and foundations, who can become visionary “agents of change” to collaborate with suitable academic partners, and assist the corporate sector in customizing Social and Behaviour Change Communication campaigns focused on these vexatious vaccination related issues.
Or alternatively, such campaigns can be taken on by Advertising agencies, with professional expert advice, over the next few months, either commercially or as a part of their own Social Responsibility.
The time to act is now. Vaccination saves lives! Since the past 100 years, vaccination has proved itself to be one of the most effective direct weapons in Primary Prevention. Don’t Hesitate, Vaccinate!
If you are interested in knowing more about a structured and focused corporate campaign to address these issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.