The Centre has earmarked around Rs 50,000 crore ($7 billion) to inoculate the world's second most populous nation after China against COVID-19. It has assessed an all-in cost of approximately $6-7 per person in the country of 1.3 billion.
The funds provisioned so far are for the current financial year ending March 31, Bloomberg reported citing sources.
Coronavirus vaccine math according to the government:
- India is said to assess two injections per person at $2 a shot.
- Another $2-$3 per person is supposedly estimated as infrastructure costs such as transport and storage.
- All the above-mentioned details are being worked out based on recommendations of a working group, sources told the agency.
Although a government-backed committee portends that India is past the peak of coronavirus infections and may manage to contain the spread by February, 2021, the country's economy has taken a massive hit due to subsequent pandemic-induced lockdown.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said recently that his government will ensure all Indians have access to a coronavirus vaccine as soon as it is ready. Addressing the nation on October 20, he also urged citizens to practice caution during the festive season and not become complacent with the improvement in the COVID situation.
"Till the time we get a vaccine for this pandemic, we should not let our fight against coronavirus abate even a little. It has happened for the first time in years that the entire world is engaged on war-footing to protect mankind. Several countries are working on this (vaccine). Our scientists, too, are working on a vaccine," said PM Modi.