Asia

Govt will need 80,000 crore for Covid vaccine, says Serum CEO

MUMBAI: The government may need Rs 80,000 crore over the next one year for distribution of Covid-19 vaccine and immunization of the countrys population, Adar Poonawalla, CEO and promoter of the worlds largest vaccine producer, Serum Institute, said on Saturday.
Calling it the “next concerning challenge”, which needs to be tackled, Poonawalla posted a tweet tagging the Prime Ministers Office, which read: “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.”
Serum has tie ups with global manufacturers AstraZeneca and Novavax for potential Covid-19 vaccines, which are currently undergoing clinical trials. The tweet, perceived by many as alarming, also raised concerns over the governments ability to fund the massive vaccine programme.
“The government has assured that there will be plenty of funds available for vaccines. We have now been assured by the highest levels in the government that enough funds will be available for vaccine procurement, supply and logistics. This is good news,” Poonawalla told TOI, when contacted.
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