Amazon India to bear COVID vaccine cost of over a million employees, sellers

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Amazon India has said it will bear the COVID-19 vaccination cost of over 10 lakh of its employees, associates, sellers, and others in its partner network system.

The e-commerce giant will also cover its delivery service partner associates, comprising Amazon Flex drivers, ‘I Have Space’ store partners, trucking partners, and their eligible dependents.

The benefit will also be extended to all sellers on Amazon India’s platform with active listings since last year.

The coronavirus vaccination programme is open to all people above 45 years of age and the company is encouraging those eligible to get themselves inoculated.

“As COVID-19 vaccines become available to individuals above 45 years of age in India, Amazon India is encouraging its employees, associates, sellers on Amazon.in and partners to get vaccinated at the earliest appropriate time to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” Amazon India said in a statement on Monday.

The company has also set up comprehensive support mechanisms for employees and associates working with Amazon and hired through staffing agencies, it added.

Amazon India supports cost coverage for COVID-19 treatment, hospital search, and coverage of prescribed COVID-19 tests. Initiatives have been scaled and evolved to address the prevailing situation.

“These new benefits are on top of the $2.5 billion Amazon has invested in special bonuses and incentives for teams globally over the last year, and the $11.5 billion the company has invested in COVID-19-related measures overall,” the statement said

This investment has enabled the company to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and extensive safety measures for employees and partners throughout the global network along with other financial support initiatives, it stated.

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The Amazon Relief Fund (ARF) was launched in India in April 2020 with a $25 million relief fund for partners and continues to provide support to all eligible individuals. ARF can be utilised by qualifying individuals who have been quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19.

Several companies, including Flipkart, Infosys, Cure.fit, Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, Mobile Premier League, Reliance Industries, TVS Motor Company, ReNew Power, Mindtree, and Sify Technologies, have committed to covering vaccine costs for their employees and their family members.

People above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with co-morbidities are being immunised in the second phase of the nationwide vaccination that started on March 1. Under the third phase, which started on April 1, everyone over 45 years can get vaccinated.