Adar Poonawalla Asks Government If They Are Ready With Rs 80,000 Crore For COVID-19 Vaccine?

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Adar Poonawalla, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Serum Institute, raised a question to the Central Government regarding the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the tweet of Adar Poonawalla, Indian Government needs an estimated amount of Rs. 80,000 crores to Dristribute COVID-19 vaccine to all in the next one year.

In regard to this, Mr. Poonawalla took to his Twitter handle and said, “Will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next one year? Because that’s what @MoHFW_INDIA (health ministry) needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India. This is the next concerning challenge we need to tackle.”

In another tweet, Mr. Adar said, “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.”

The CEO of the world’s largest vaccine maker also said all manufacturers and the Government need to plan and guide to cater to the immense need for COVID-19 immunisation.

Serum Institute is currently conducting a phase 3 clinical trial of a vaccine co developed by AstraZeneca plc and University of Oxford, of which the Pune based company plans to manufacture 1 billion doses.

The company is in pact to produce another billion doses of a vaccine developed by Novavax, for which Poonawalla’s firm will start phase 3 trials next month.

Serum Institute is also developing its own vaccine, which is currently in pre clinical trials.

Poonawalla’s estimate of ₹80,000 crore, or around $11 billion, is substantially higher than that made by international brokerage Sanford Bernstein of $6 billion.

However, the brokerage realistically expects the government to spend only $2 billion to procure covid-19 vaccines for only 30% of the population, or half the people required to reach herd immunity, and urge the rest of the people to procure it from the private market.

Recently, the Serum Institute of India was suspended from conducting the clinical trials of COVID-19 potential vaccine.

However, later the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revoked its order and allowed SII to begin their trials again.

Stay tuned for further updates.


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