The government has set aside Rs 500 billion ($7 billion) to vaccinate the whole country against the novel coronavirus. The amount was arrived at after the Centre estimated an all-in cost of about $6-$7 per person in the country of 1.3 billion.
The money has been allocated for the current fiscal year ending March 31 and no shortfall of funds for this purpose is expected, a Bloomberg Quint report said. There has been no response on the issue from the Finance Ministry so far.
The estimated cost of $6-$7 per person is likely to include two injections per person at $2 a shot and an approximate $2-$3 as infrastructure costs such as storage and transport.
Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government is working round the clock to ensure that the vaccine, which several countries including India were developing on a war front, reaches every Indian. “Our scientists are also working to develop the vaccine; the government is working with great effort to ensure that the vaccine when developed reaches every Indian,” he said.
As the festive season arrives, the prime minister urged citizens to not stop taking precautionary measures. “The lockdowns have gone but the coronavirus hasn’t," he reminded people.