The company said the investment for the initiative would be in addition to the $2.5 billion it has invested globally towards special bonuses and incentives for its teams and the $11.5 billion it has invested in Covid-19-related measures. However, it did not specify exactly how much it would spend on vaccinating its employees, ecosystem partners and their dependents.
Amit Agarwal, senior VP and country manager at Amazon India said, “Health and safety of our teams and partners continues to be our top priority. We are encouraging eligible individuals to get vaccinated, and will cover the cost of vaccination for our employees, associates, operations partner network, sellers and their eligible dependents to ensure their continued safety.”
The company added that it would bear the vaccination costs of delivery service partner associates, including Amazon Flex drivers, I Have Space store partners, trucking partners and their eligible dependents. Also eligible are sellers who have had an active listing on its India marketplace in the past year.
The vaccination benefits are also part of Amazon’s efforts to aid small and medium businesses it works with to tide over the Covid-19 crisis, for which it introduced a fee waiver and worked with providers to get health insurance coverage for all eligible sellers on its India marketplace and their staff. Amazon has also allowed small sellers to get their disbursements on-demand with an ability to claim payouts daily.
The company’s announcement comes after a handful of Indian internet companies said they would bear the cost of vaccinating their workers. Swiggy last month said it would cover the cost of vaccinating its two lakh delivery associates when they become eligible. Grofers has also said it will pay for vaccinations for its front-line workforce.
Several other large entities such as SBI, Accenture, Infosys, TCS and RPG Group have also announced similar plans for their employees. But Amazon India is among the first large firms that has said it will cover the cost of vaccinating not just its own employees but its sellers and supply chain workers as well.