by LYDIA NATHAN / Pic by TMR FILEPIX
MULTINATIONAL company Grab Holdings Inc is aiming to have all its employees including driver-partners vaccinated by the end of 2022.
In a statement released yesterday, Grab said it launched a region-wide programme aimed at increasing access to the Covid-19 vaccine, but also as a means to educate its stakeholders.
Grab MD (operations) Russell Cohen said despite the rollout of the vaccine moving into a recovery phase across South-East Asia, there are still challenges in its delivery.
“Particularly for a region as widespread and diverse as ours, there are definitely challenges.
“We have worked closely with governments across South-East Asia throughout the past year to address pandemic challenges on multiple fronts, and now hope to play our part in making sure every South-East Asian has access to the right information and resources to get vaccinated,” he said.
According to Cohen, Grab will work closely with local governments in offering mobility, communications and logistics support, as well as last-mile vaccine distribution for the national vaccine deployment plans through its ground fleet network and widely used consumer app.
“Grab will subsidise the time, cost and effort of Covid-19 vaccines, and extend the medical leave protection fund to cover potential loss of income by driver and delivery partners as a result of side effects from the vaccine.
“Grab will also cover the cost for vaccination for employees and immediate family members not already covered,” Cohen said.
Grab will also provide discounted rides to and from vaccination centres for those requiring mobility assistance, such as the elderly or disabled, delivering vaccines to rural areas or use its network of Grab Driver Centres as vaccination points.
Meanwhile, Cohen said with a network of drivers and delivery partners across 397 cities in SouthEast Asia, it will collaborate with governments to design initiatives that specifically target challenges in each country.
“The quicker we can achieve the herd immunity, the sooner our communities and economies can start to rebuild. Public-private partnership has been critical in taking on some of the pandemic’s biggest battles, and this collaboration should continue.
“We are ready to offer our technology, network and reach to support national vaccination efforts in the best way we can, and look forward to releasing more information on our initiatives locally as plans are confirmed,” he said.
Aiming to educate, the platform will run virtual workshops and town halls to help partners understand the benefits of getting vaccinated and publish accurate vaccine and other public health information within dedicated high-visibility spaces within the Grab app.
“Grab is committed to supporting informed and equitable access to vaccines for all South-East Asians,” Cohen noted.