RIL will vaccinate all eligible staff from May 1 under its R-Surakshaa plan

Reliance Industries (RIL) will be vaccinating all its employees who are more than 18 years old against Covid-19. In a letter to staffers, Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and managing director of RIL and his wife Nita Ambani, a non-executivev director at RIL, said, “Reliance will roll out our own vaccination programme, R-Surakshaa, across locations for all our employees and eligible family members above the age of 18 years, effective May 1, 2021.” The group has around 200,000 people on its rolls.

A company official told Business Standard that RIL is in talks with domestic and foreign vaccine manufacturers to conduct this programme. A call on the supplier will be subject to availability of the doses.

The Ambanis said that this programme will be as per the new guidelines of the government of India. This will be in addition to RIL’s existing initiative to bear the vaccination costs for all eligible employees.

They also said that the country’s COVID-positive caseload may rise further over the next several weeks before we see a downward curve. In addition to this, the letter asked employees to support each other through the pandemic for the coming three months.

Earlier this month, the centre had relaxed the COVID-19 vaccination guidelines. Under the revised rules, the centre took a step back and allowed state governments to decide the priority vaccination recipients. It also allowed all those above 18 years of age, from 45 earlier, to be eligible for vaccination. In addition to these, the centre allowed importing the vaccines and removed price restrictions.

This liberalised third phase of vaccination instructed domestic manufacturers to supply 50 per cent of the vaccines to the centre, the rest could be sold to state governments and the open market.

In a statement issued soon after the government order, Serum Institute of India (SII) said that it will offer doses to state governments for Rs 400 per vial and to private hospitals for Rs 600 per vial. It said that this price is cheaper than foreign vaccines that cost upwards of Rs 750 per dose.

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