Shoprite keen to get vaccines for its employees

Shoprite says procuring Covid-19 vaccines for its front-line workers would limit the spread of the disease.

Shoprite Holdings Ltd  says allowing the private sector to secure vaccines will speed up the slow roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines. Chief executive officer Pieter Engelbrecht says the group would certainly be prepared to  purchase vaccines for its employees, to get their frontline people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

The continent’s biggest grocer, Shoprite employs more than 140,000 people through the operation of 2,892 stores and a network of distribution centres across Africa. While its food stores have remained open throughout the pandemic, trading at its liquor, furniture and household-goods outlets have been open and shut due to different levels of restrictions.

“There are 25 million customers through our stores every month, so one can understand how critical it is for our people to be vaccinated,” says Pieter. Rather than restrict trade, which adds insult to injury through unemployment and retrenchments, he says, the focus needs to be on reaching herd immunity to ensure the economy can be restarted.