Does Centre have Rs 80,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccine, asks Serum Institute's Adar Poonawalla
SII has partnered with five global pharma companies including AstraZeneca to produce 1 billion doses of its vaccine candidate – half of which it has pledged to India.
September 26, 2020 / 04:26 PM IST
Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), on September 26 asked if the government will have 'Rs 80,000 crore available' over the next one year, which is the amount, according to him, needed to buy and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine across the country.
"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. @PMOIndia," Poonawalla tweeted.
SII has partnered with five global pharma companies including AstraZeneca to produce one billion doses of its vaccine candidate – half of which it has pledged to India; besides partnering with Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute to manufacture the Sputnik V vaccine.
SII presently produces 1.5 billion doses of polio, measles and influenza vaccines for 170 countries.
Earlier on September 14, Poonawalla had warned of a shortage of a COVID-19 vaccine for all till 2024 at least. He had said that it would take four to five years until "everyone on the planet" gets vaccinated.
Poonawalla had estimated a need for close to 15 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine if a two-dose programme – similar to the measles vaccinations drive – is initiated.