Vaccinating industrial employees at worksites gets a thrust

Aim is to ensure that factory production does not get affected in future waves of COVID-19

The State government’s decision to vaccinate industrial workers will ensure that factory production will not be affected in future waves of COVID-19 and will guarantee greater protection to the workforce.

The decision has also given a thrust to providing vaccination at worksites and will ensure greater coverage in minimal amount of time.

In Mysuru alone there are nearly 2.5 lakh industrial workers of whom at least 75,000 to 90,000 in the age group of 45 and above years are eligible for vaccination, according to industrial sources.

Lingaraju, Deputy Director, District Industries Centre, Mysuru, said that the inoculation drive was already on and employees working in oxygen-related industries, garment factories, and pharma companies were in the process of receiving the jab. “As on Sunday nearly 10,000 workers in these units have been vaccinated.’’

He said the DIC was now in the process of collecting details on the number of employees in the 18 to 44 years age group so as to ensure vaccination coverage of those who are yet to receive the jab. Out of 137 industrial units from whom details have been collected, a majority of the workforce are in the 18 to 44 years age group while those above 45 and are yet to receive the jab numbered about 3,000, according to the official.

Suresh Kumar Jain, General Secretary, Mysuru Industries Association, said that many eligible employees have already been vaccinated and some of the larger companies with high turnover have ensured the inoculation of their workforce. But they constitute a small fraction of the total labour force and a majority are yet to be vaccinated. Hence the drive so as to cover the entire industrial workforce is welcome, he said.

The office of the Joint Director of Industries in all the districts have been directed to prepare a dossier of the number of employees in the age group of 18 to 44 years and those above 45 years besides securing details of those who are already vaccinated.

Stakeholders said the MSME units, most of whom have employees ranging from 10 to 50, are likely to benefit the most and the entire exercise will help keep the wheels of the industry turning in the event of another wave.

“Experts aver there is a third wave in the months ahead and this drive will help fortify ourselves and the workforce against any outbreak. Even in the event of a surge, the factory units can keep functioning with minimal protection and by observing the prevailing standard operating procedures’’, said Mr. Jain.

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