Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary speaking during press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo/ANI)
Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary speaking during press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo/ANI)

After Serum Institute tweet, Union Health Ministry says its disagrees with the mathematics that Rs 80,000 crore is needed to vaccinate all Indians

ANI | Updated: Sep 29, 2020 18:13 IST

New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): 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 because that is the amount which is required to buy and distribute vaccine everyone in the country?-- Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary said, "The attention of the Health Ministry was drawn towards a tweet in which this amount is mentioned. The person who tweeted about this amount tweeted again and said that he has full faith in the government while adding that the government has ensured that they have made the arrangements."
"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'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. @PMOIndia."

"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.
"I am co-chairing the committee. 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 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)