NEW DELHI: The Centre has set aside nearly $7 billion (approx Rs 51,000 crore) to vaccinate India’s 1.3-billion people against Covid-19 , reported Bloomberg quoting people with knowledge of the matter.The Modi government estimates an all-in cost of about $6-$7 (roughly Rs 450-550) per person in the nation of 1.3 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private.The money provisioned so far is for the current financial year ending March 31 and there will be no shortage of further funds for this purpose, they added.The government is said to have estimated two injections per person at $2 (Rs 150) a shot.Another $2-$3 is said to be set aside per individual as infrastructure costs such as storage and transport, as per recommendations of a working group.In his recent address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the government is trying to ensure that the Covid-19 vaccine reaches every Indian.The government recently began a massive exercise to map out cold chain storage facilities to ensure the vaccine is delivered quickly across the nation.A national expert group is talking to public and private sector entities in the pharmaceutical sector, food processing industry and agro businesses as well as food delivery start-ups such as Swiggy and Zomato to identify cold storages or fridges at the taluka level that can stock and distribute the vaccine, sources had revealed.Meanwhile, India has also started identifying around 30 crore priority beneficiaries, including high-risk population and first responders — from healthcare workers to police, sanitation workers as well as the elderly and people with co-morbidities — who will likely receive an estimated 60 crore vaccine doses.The shots, which include the booster dose, are planned for the initial phase once a vaccine is approved for use.Currently, there are three vaccine candidates undergoing human trials in India. Of these, the Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate is in the most advanced stage in Phase 3 and Pune-based Serum Institute is conducting trials in India.The government recently said its Phase 3 data will be available around November-end or early December. Read from source….
India sets aside $7 billion to vaccinate its population: Sources
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