Resources to Be in Place for Viable, Effective Covid-19 Vaccination System: Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar
Niti Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar. (Image: ANI)
Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India (SII) which is producing the potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University, had asked if the government will have Rs 80,00 crore available to buy and distribute the vaccine.
- Last Updated: October 22, 2020, 22:56 IST
- FOLLOW US ON:
Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Thursday expressed confidence that money and resources will be in place for a viable and effective vaccination system to fight COVID-19, even as he said it is quite premature to talk about the cost to be incurred on it. Participating in a virtual event organised by Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI), Kumar expressed hope that the corporate world will also rise up to the occasion and make the vaccination part of their CSR activity.
Responding to a question about money required on procuring and distribution of vaccines, he said, "I think it is very premature at the moment to talk about costs, funds and resources required for getting the vaccination… That will depend entirely on what the modalities are, how we go about it." "Yes, it will cost resources, I think given the lead the prime minister has given, I don't think that (cost) will come in the way of putting in place a viable, effective vaccination system," he said. Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India (SII) which is producing the potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University, had asked if the government will have Rs 80,00 crore available to buy and distribute the vaccine.
Kumar further said that "at the same time, we have to make sure we have unique IDs of those who have been given the vaccination, (and) make it portable so that it can be shown as evidence wherever you travel", adding that it's a huge effort, and the Niti Aayog with Nandan Nilkeni is trying to figure it out. "Then we need to decide whether we go for senior citizens first, or you want to go to the working population," the Niti Aayog vice chairman said.
He also noted that it is more important to focus on "getting the mechanism right, getting the mechanism in place, to get unique ID, to get portable ID, to get universal coverage". Kumaralso pointed out that Serum Institute of India (SII) will not be the only company which will produce the vaccine, there are others also.
"I am sure, the corporate world will also rise upto the occasion and make it part of their CSR activity, (and) not charge profit for that," he said. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Thursday released the BJP's manifesto for the Bihar assembly polls which promised free COVID-19 vaccine once it has been cleared by the ICMR.
Niti Aayog member V K Paul is heading the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC). Paul, who is also the chief of an expert panel coordinating efforts to tackle the pandemic in the country, in an interview to PTI had said that once the COVID-19 vaccine is available, there will be enough resources to deliver as well as make it accessible to the citizens.