Don't agree with Rs 80,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in India: Health Ministry on Poonawalla's calculation
"We have calculated the amount required in the meetings and currently, that amount is available with the government,” said Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. Serum Insititute of India chief executive Adar Poonawalla had tweeted on September 26 the estimated amount he thought would be required.
September 30, 2020 / 07:40 PM IST
The Indian government said on September 29 that it does not agree with the Rs 80,000 crore asked by Serum Institute of India chief executive Adar Poonawalla for distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine in India.
Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan was responding to a question tweeted by Poonawalla, who 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,” Poonawalla had tweeted.
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Bhushan said, "We do not agree by the calculation of Rs 80,000 crore. The government has made a national committee on vaccine experts and five meetings have taken place till now.”
Giving more details, the health secretary added, "In these meetings, we have mulled over the process of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the amount required for it in terms of prioritisation of population and the staggered immunisation for this prioritisation."
"We have calculated the amount required in the meetings and currently, that amount is available with the government,” said Bhushan.
Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.(With inputs from PTI)