Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Health Ministry questions Serum Institute of India’s mathematics, disagrees that Rs 80,000 crore is needed to vaccinate all Indians

Following a tweet by the Serum Institute of India, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said it disagrees with the mathematics which asked the government whether it has Rs 80,000 crore to buy and distribute COVID-19 vaccine to everyone in India. While responding to a question–Will the Indian government have Rs 80,000 crore available over the next one year?– Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary said, “The attention of the Health Ministry was drawn towards a tweet in which this amount is mentioned.” “As far as the mathematics of Rs 80,000 is concerned, we do not agree with it. I will not comment upon it,” he added.

On September 26, Adar Poonawalla, CEO and Owner, Serum Institute of India (which is conducting trials for the COVID-19 vaccine) in a tweet said, “Quick question: Will the government of India have 80,000 crores available over the next one year? Because that is needed to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India.” “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,” he added.

The next day, i.e. on September 27, Poonawalla tweeted, “We share and applaud your vision @narendramodi
ji, on providing vaccines to the global community. It is a proud moment for India, thank you for your leadership and support. It is clear that all your arrangements for India will take care of all needs for the Indian people.” Rajesh Bhushan said that the central government has constituted a national expert committee on vaccine administration under the chairmanship of Dr VK Paul, Member NITI Aayog.

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“Five meetings of the committee have been conducted so far. Four-five meetings with small teams of the committee have also been conducted. We have discussed the prioritisation of population. Based on that we have calculated the amount for the system of proposed staggered immunisation and the government has the required amount,” Bhushan said. (ANI)

Also Read: COVID-19: Serum Institute of India to produce additional 100 million vaccine doses

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