Agilent has now vaccinated thousands of employees and family members in two regions facing chronic vaccine shortages.
Get a closer look at what is happening and how Agilent is rising to the challenge for our employees and their families.
Agilent India facilitated the first vaccination camp at the Manesar office in May, immediately after the government allowed corporations to sponsor vaccination programs. Afterward, many of the vaccinated showed their appreciation through emails and LinkedIn messages. After Manesar, Agilent held vaccination camps at its regional offices in Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, and Pune. To date, these camps have resulted in more than 2,000 employees and their families getting vaccinated.
“Helping save people’s lives is truly a noble cause – Bharat and the India team should take great pride in being able to get this vaccination camp up and running in such a short period of time," said President and CEO Mike McMullen. "You will always be able to look back on this time with great pride, knowing that you and the India leadership team made a difference when it mattered the most. Great to see the strong turnout. India team, please continue to take care of yourselves and your families”
Agilent employee Shantanu Dey wrote, “Thanks for making it a pleasant experience even for people who are indirectly associated with our organization. It was well planned, coordinated, and a friendly environment for such an important and thoughtful initiative at this scale. Honestly, no surprise for me, it is always exquisite from your end!”
In addition, other employees were able to use Agilent-issued employment certificates to get priority walk-in vaccinations at government centers.
The Indian government began administering COVID-19 vaccines on Jan. 16, with first priority going to medical and front-line workers as well as elderly individuals. However, the rollout was slowed by chronic vaccine shortages, as well as by distribution and logistical issues for a country with a population of ~1.39 B. These issues only increased after the second COVID wave hit.
“It was challenging to organize vaccination camps given the acute shortage of the vaccines across the country,” said Anand Verma, Associate VP of Global Sourcing APAC/EMEA. “Thanks to Agilent’s senior leadership and our focused task force, which was driven by Agilent’s core values, for making this a reality,” he added.
“It is really a wonderful initiative," said employee Shyla Hanumaiah. "Thanks to the amazing vaccination camp at the Agilent Bangalore office for the opportunity to get vaccinated. I had previously visited Apollo Hospital twice and returned home after waiting more than three hours in the hot sun. The Agilent vaccination event was really a wonderful experience.“
Still, with COVID-19 strains threatening renewed outbreaks, the Agilent India management team continues to stay vigilant. There are ongoing camps being organized in phases at Agilent offices across India, to provide more opportunities for vaccination when the employees and their families are due for their next doses.
Additionally, team India has partnered with Vidal Health Insurance TPA Pvt. Ltd. for providing additional vaccination coverage to employees working from their homes, especially in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. This provides flexibility for employees to choose a date that is most suitable per the individual’s schedule. Vidal has coverage in more than 43 cities supporting 52 vaccination centers across the country.
Agilent contributes to COVID-19 research initiatives
Agilent contributed their instruments to eminent hospitals and universities for supporting COVID-19 research efforts in India. In addition, the Agilent Foundation gave cash grants to United Way India for ventilators and BiPap machines for district government hospitals in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, where the needs are greatest. The Foundation also contributed matching funds to India Employee Giving Program for supporting relief measures in India.
As the pandemic continues to escalate in Southeast Asia, our local Agilent sites have been working hard to arrange vaccinations for employees and their families. In Thailand, 100 people received their first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine last week. In Malaysia, efforts are underway to vaccinate 500 people in the next few weeks.
The number of new COVID cases in Thailand has continued to soar, with more than 14,000 new infections and 114 fatalities per day as of July 23. The outbreak is centered in Bangkok and its suburbs, where most Agilent employees live.
The Thai government had planned to administer vaccines to 70% of the population – some 66 million people – by the end of the year. But a vaccine shortage caused deliveries to be delayed, and most Agilent employees saw their vaccine appointments canceled.
"The daily increase in bad news made us live in fear in the past few months, even though we are on our highest guard," said Maneenart Ratanathikom, Thailand country manager and sales director for Thailand and Singapore.
In June, Chulabhorn Royal Academy got approval to bring in an alternative vaccine – Sinopharm. This is the first and only fast-track option available for businesses and organizations in Thailand.
Agilent requested and received 200 doses of the vaccine, then arranged to have them administered to 100 employees and family members last week at a local hospital.
Employees said they were grateful for the vaccine opportunity.
"Agilent is the best place to work and they care about employees," said Panthep Kurasathain, a field service engineer. "I have been worried that I may get infected or bring the virus back home to my family. Now my wife and I are vaccinated, and I feel much more confident. We are looking forward to our second jab soon."
Patcharaporn Treenit, a sales account manager, was thankful not only for the vaccine but also for the chance to see his co-workers again after such a long time.
“It felt great to see colleagues and friends. I miss all the fun time when we were together at work before the pandemic,” he said. “We have worked from home since April last year and don’t have a chance to meet with each other. Today, we had some small chit-chat while waiting 30 minutes after our shots, a great short time.”
In Malaysia, COVID cases surpassed 1 million, partially fueled by the rapid-spreading Delta variant. Desmond Tan of Workplace Services said the clinics are currently underway, with the goal of vaccinating 500 employees by the first week of August.
“We are off to a good start,” he said. “COVID has been a challenging journey for all of us and we are grateful to Keysight for the partnership.”