Rs 80,000 Cr Needed In 2021 For COVID Vaccine Distribution In India, Says SII

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New Delhi: India will require funding of Rs 80,000 crore for distribution of the COVID vaccine for the next one year, said Serum Institute of India, which has partnered with AstraZeneca to manufacture the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, ZeeNews reported.

The Govt’s Plan

  • To vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of the drive
  • One crore healthcare workers
  • Two crore frontline and essential workers
  • 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with comorbidities

Vaccine candidates

Serum Institute-Oxford`s Covishield, Bharat Biotech`s Covaxin and Pfizer vaccine are in the fray for emergency use authorization. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has sought additional data from the Serum Institute as well as Bharat Biotech to get approval.

“The funding for such large scale distribution would be huge, and India should be ready with a funding of around Rs 80,000 crore for next one year for distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine,” Dr. Satish D. Ravetkar, Executive Director of Serum Institute of India was quoted as saying.

Power supply

The Executive Director added that India would further have to ensure adequate power supply that could help maintain the temperature required to keep the vaccine safe in the remote areas of the country.

Working together

“It is a huge challenge, and all the stakeholders have to work together to take up the challenge of such large scale operation,” he said at NASSCOM`s webinar on `Vaccine Trials – Optimizing the Supply Chain`, emphasizing on the need for a clear communication from the Central government, Zee News reported.

Dr. Ravetkar said, “Everything starts with the government getting into action. IT-enabled supply chain management should be established as at Serum Institute we produce 1.6 million doses annually. So, we can roll out this vaccine fast. He said that it will be easier for all manufacturers to plan their production.”

Counterfeiting

“We have experience in counterfeiting and in this Covid-19, this is bound to happen as there is a huge demand for it. We have to establish machinery and system to control this,” he was quoted as saying.

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