Prioritise MSME labourers, give them COVID-19 vaccine free of cost: Industry body urges PM

By: |
January 7, 2021 5:56 PM

Industry body Noida Entrepreneurs' Association (NEA) on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prioritise labourers working in the MSME sector for COVID-19 vaccine and provide them the jabs free of cost.

The first batch of Oxford Covishield vaccine containing 2.64 lakh doses had reached the Delhi's central storage facility at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital on Tuesday.

Industry body Noida Entrepreneurs’ Association (NEA) on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prioritise labourers working in the MSME sector for COVID-19 vaccine and provide them the jabs free of cost. In a letter to the prime minister, the city-based NEA, which has over 6,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) as members, cited media reports that claim that the vaccine may cost anything between Rs 200 and Rs 1,000.

In the letter, NEA President Vipin Malhan said the MSME sector employs lakhs of labourers who are aged below 50 years and earn around Rs 15,000 a month. “These labourers make an important contribution for the country, work on daily wages and work day and night to manage a living for themselves and their families,” Malhan said.

He added that an amount of Rs 1,000 for the vaccine will be a big sum for them to bear. “It is requested to you that people working in registered companies in the MSME sector and those dependent on them should be given a priority in vaccination,” he urged the prime minister.

They could be given the vaccination by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) or any other institution free of cost, Malhan added. The Drugs Controller General of India has approved Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech’s indigenously developed Covaxin for restricted emergency use in the country.

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