Even after getting support under the COVAX global vaccine-sharing scheme, India will be required to spend $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion in the first phase of a coronavirus vaccination programme, news agency Reuters quoted GAVI vaccines alliance.
India has the world’s second-highest number of Covid cases and is just behind the United States. The country is planning to inoculate 300 million people over the next six to eight months, likely with vaccines from AstraZeneca, Russia’s Sputnik, Zydus Cadila and India’s own Bharat Biotech.
Documents reviewed by Reuters underline the scale of the funding challenge India faces to immunise its vast population, with 600 million shots required in the first wave alone for critical workers and people most at risk from Covid-19.
As per reports, in case, India got 190-250 million shots of the vaccine under the COVAX facility then the government would need to line up about $1.4 billion to make up for the shortfall, according to an unpublished report prepared for GAVI’s three-day board meeting that began on Tuesday.
On the other hand, if India received a lower allocation of 95-125 million doses, then the cost to the government of procuring additional shots would go up to $1.8 billion.
“Providing a low range of support would exacerbate the country’s ability to allocate enough resources to mitigate the risks of continued transmission of Covid-19,” the GAVI report said.