Will Government Have Rs 80,000 Crore For Covid-19 Vaccines, Asks Adar Poonawalla

PM Modi in his speech to the UN General Assembly said that India will help the world when it comes to vaccine production and delivery ability.

Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India (SII), which is producing the potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University, asked on Saturday if the government will have Rs 80,000 crore available to buy and distribute the vaccine.

“Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next one year? Because that’s what @MoHFW_INDIAneeds, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India,” he tweeted.

This is the next “challenge” we need to tackle, he said, also tagging the prime minister’s office.

“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,” Poonawalla added.

Serum Institute is currently conducting a phase 3 clinical trial of a vaccine co-developed by AstraZeneca plc and the University of Oxford, of which the Pune-based company plans to manufacture one billion doses.

Adar Poonawala also said all manufacturers and the government need to plan and guide to cater to the immense need for Covid-19 immunization.

Earlier, SII had announced that it will make the Oxford vaccine available at USD 3 for low- and middle-income countries including India.

PM Modi in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly said, “India’s coronavirus vaccine production and delivery capacity will help all humanity in fighting the pandemic.”

“As the largest vaccine producing country in the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today. India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis,” he added.

He further said, “In India and “our neighborhood”, we are moving ahead with phase 3 clinical trials adding “India will also help all the countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of the Vaccines.”

Despite the ongoing pandemic and the changed circumstances of the post-pandemic era India is moving with a vision of a Self Reliant India and it would be “Force Multiplier for the Global Economy”, the PM said.

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