The Centre will spend Rs 10,000 crore in phase 1 of the nationwide vaccination plan, according to Finance Ministry sources. The vaccine will be initially administered to the priority group of about 30 crore Indians first.
The Centre will bear the cost of this vast inoculation exercise. States like Bihar and Kerala have already announced that coronavirus vaccines will be administered for free. Others are also expected to make similar announcements. The government may also take loans from international banks to fund the mega vaccination drive, sources told India Today TV.
Notably, India is also part of the global vaccination effort, which is led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and GAVI. These organisations will help fund vaccination efforts of the poor and middle-income countries. In this regard, GAVI has already initiated talks with India over its vaccination plan.
Also, the government is planning to administer only 100 coronavirus vaccine shots a day at each site. According to a draft SOP issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and shared with the states last week, each vaccination site will have five vaccination officers, including a guard, and three rooms, one each for waiting, vaccination and observation.
The government is planning to utilise community halls and makeshift tents for vaccination at a later stage. Each person who gets the vaccine will be mandatorily kept under observation for 30 minutes to check for AEFI and those developing severe aftereffects will be shifted to hospital identified by the state.
As per the Centre's latest guidelines, state and district programme managers, medical officers, vaccinator officers, information, education and communication officers, cold chain handlers, supervisors, data managers, ASHA workers, and Mahila Arogya Samitis will be engaged in the vaccination process.