Manipal Hospitals to set up vax camp at Infosys from tomorrow

Manipal Hospitals will vaccinate employees at on Wednesday by making use of the occupational health centre at the company’s sprawling campus at Electronic City. About 12,000 Infosys workers have registered for Wednesday’s programme.

“We will set up our own temporary sub-centre at the campus with our own team of doctors, nurses, ambulance and all other things required,” Manipal Hospitals chairman Dr Sudarshan Ballal told ET. “We will be doing more of this in the coming days with some of the IT campuses. More hospitals should join this campaign to reach out to more IT campuses and other facilities.”

Manipal has plans to vaccinate employees and their dependents from different corporates including Infosys, Wipro, Goldman Sachs, SAP Labs, Ola, Sonata Software, Samsung and Schneider Electric. The hospital said they can do 500 vaccinations a day, and would need about 10-12 working days for each corporate.

On a day that Karnataka reported 5,279 new Covid-19 cases, Ballal called for a speedy and wider coverage. “To vaccinate more people as soon as possible is an urgent national need. This was more of a social venture for us than an economic one.”

He urged the government to open up vaccination for everyone above 18 years of age, and added he had already discussed this with chief minister BS Yediyurappa at the recent meeting.

Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw too called for heightened efforts for vaccination on a war footing. The steep rate of increase in Covid-19 cases, she said, warranted inoculation to reach masses. Waiting for people to visit hospitals to get their shots is not the way forward, Shaw said, calling for faster approvals from the Union government to facilitate this.

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The authorities should identify the areas where cases are large, and set up vaccination camps in such apartments. “This way we can do a faster rollout. When neighbours are getting their shots, it will also force others to get themselves vaccinated. This will combine both convenience and speed of vaccination,” Shaw said.

Limiting the vaccination programmes to only designated hospitals will not help in scaling up the numbers as those who are lazy will not visit them. It should reach places such as corporate campuses, apartment blocks, colleges and gated communities where they can do mass vaccination. Corporates should get ready for vaccinating their employees, Shaw said. “If you take vaccination to people, it will also remove vaccine hesitancy.”

Bengaluru’s civic body BBMP too has warmed up to the idea, and is waiting for clarity from the government on this as its health centres are not getting the expected footfall for vaccination.



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