Grab announces program to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations in Southeast Asia – TechCrunch

grabThe South East Asian ride-hailing and on-demand delivery giant, today announced a program to expand access to COVID-19 vaccination. It aims to have all its employees, as well as drivers and delivery partners, vaccinated by 2022 (except for those who are medically unable to receive shots). Grab also said it would work with governments to provide information about vaccines through its app, and is in discussions to provide more for last-mile vaccine delivery and transportation to and from vaccination centers.

The company currently has operations in eight Southeast Asian countries: Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Grab joins a growing roster of private companies around the world that have offered to help governments with their vaccination programs. In the United States, these include tech companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and Epic. Meanwhile, China’s largest ride-healing company, Didi Chuxing, is promising $ 10 million to support vaccination programs in 13 countries.

Russell Cohen, Grab Group operations director, said in a statement, “The sooner we can get herd immunity, the sooner our communities and economies can begin to rebuild. Public-private partnerships have been instrumental in taking up some of the greatest battles of the epidemic, and this cooperation should continue. “

For drivers and distribution partners, Grab said it would subsidize COVID-19 vaccine costs not covered by national immunization programs. The company will also expand its group long medical holiday insurance policy to cover the income lost by drivers as a result of potential side effects from vaccination. Employees and immediate family members will have any costs not covered by national programs paid by Grab.

In the context of vaccine education, the Grab app will primarily display information from governments and health officials, and run user surveys to help them understand public sentiment about COVID-19 vaccines. The company says that its app has been downloaded more than 214 million times.