Will India have Rs 80,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccine, asks Serum’s Poonawalla

By: |
September 27, 2020 7:00 AM

The Serum Institute is at present conducting phase-III human trials for the corona vaccine developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca called Covishield.

Poonawalla put out a tweet on Saturday, saying this is the amount the Indian government would need to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in the country.Poonawalla put out a tweet on Saturday, saying this is the amount the Indian government would need to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in the country.

The government of India would need Rs 80,000 crore for vaccinating the entire population against the Covid-19 virus. This cost was put out by Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of Pune-based Serum Institute of India, the largest vaccine-maker in the world.

Poonawalla put out a tweet on Saturday, saying this is the amount the Indian government would need to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in the country. He tagged both PMO India and the ministry of health and family welfare, and asked whether the government had Rs 80,000 crore for the purpose.

He tweeted, “Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next one year? Because that’s what @MoHFW_INDIA needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India. This is the next concerning challenge we need to tackle.” He further said, “I ask this question, because we need to plan and guide, vaccine manufacturers both in India and overseas to service the needs of our country in terms of procurement and distribution.”

The Serum Institute is at present conducting phase-III human trials for the corona vaccine developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca called Covishield. The Serum Institute is slated to manufacture one billion doses annually of Covishield at its Pune facility for India, as well as other low- and middle-income countries. It has said that it will manufacture 300 million doses by Q1 of 2021.

In India, the institute has to manufacture the vaccine and supply it to the government. The government is then going to distribute the vaccine free of cost to citizens. The Serum Institute has set a price limit of `225 per dose of the vaccine in India. It has also tied up with another global Covid-19 vaccine-maker, Novavax, for manufacturing the vaccine in India.

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