Pedal for your vaccine: controversy over the criteria of a delivery app to immunize delivery people in Colombia

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The delivery company Rappi, from Colombiaannounced at its local headquarters that it obtained 4 thousand vaccines against the coronavirus thanks to the Colombian government’s policy of promoting immunization in the private sector. What caused a lot of controversy were the requirements imposed by the company to select the delivery men to whom the vaccine will be applied.

The manager Juan Sebastián Rozo said that the company will apply the vaccines to 2 thousand workers of four Colombian cities that have their health systems under sanitary tension. They are Bogotá, Medellín, Cali and Barranquilla. The doses were purchased under the “Companies for Vaccination” program, promoted by the government of Iván Duque.

The number of doses that Rappi has obtained so far are only enough for vaccinate 5% from the network “Collaborators” that the company has in that country, therefore they had to draw up some specific criteria when choosing who to immunize.

In dialogue with a local radio station, Rozo explained that “the delivery men who provide the service the longest” will be vaccinated, arguing that “they are the most exposed to the virus.”

“Those who place the most orders, who are most connected and providing the service, will be prioritized,” said Rozo.

Quickly, many users of social networks began to question this criterion since it does not follow any epidemiological policy, does not prioritize workers with comorbidities or the elderly. “Health is not a productivity bonus,” wrote one user in a Twitter message that quickly went viral.

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Another user pointed out that the plan should be called “pedal for your vaccine”, Alluding to the fact that the doses will be used as a work stimulus. “It’s a savage neo-meritocracy,” launched another.

Asked about the criticism, Rozo explained that they feel “very proud” of being able to vaccinate their network of delivery men and that the time of exposure to the virus is also an epidemiological criterion.

How private sector vaccination works in Colombia

The initiative for companies to purchase vaccines and deliver them to their employees is a measure that applies in different countries around the world. In Colombia it is called “Companies for Vaccination”, created jointly by the Duque government and the National Association of Colombian Entrepreneurs (ANDI) to be able to directly buy the doses from the laboratories.

In this case, the companies reached an agreement with the Chinese laboratory Sinovac and obtained 2.5 million doses that are distributed among the participating companies and each company will pay 40 dollars for each vaccine and another 20 in freight and transportation.

“We hope that with this we will contribute so that Colombia can overcome this serious situation”, concluded the director of Public Affairs of Rappi.

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