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Govt: Disagree with ₹80,000 cr figure for Covid drug

New Delhi, PTI: The government on Tuesday said it does not agree with the calculation that Rs 80,000 crore is needed for purchase and distribution of Covid-19 vaccine in India.

Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan was responding to a question tweeted by Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla who asked the government whether it had Rs 80,000 crore over the next one year for distribution of Covid-19 vaccine.

"Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next one year? Because that's what @MoHFW_INDIA needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India. This is the next concerning challenge we need to tackle," Poonawalla had tweeted.

Responding, Bhushan said, "We do not agree by the calculation of Rs 80,000 crore. The government has made a national committee on vaccine experts and five meetings have taken place till now." "In these meetings, we have mulled over the process of Covid-19 vaccine distribution and the amount required for it in terms of prioritisation of population and the staggered immunisation for this prioritisation.

"We have calculated the amount required in the meetings and currently, that amount is available with the government," said Bhushan.

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