India may need to spend $1.8 billion on COVID-19 vaccines in first phase, documents show - (This is Money via NewsPoints Desk)

  • According to estimates by the GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, India will have to spend $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion in the first phase of a coronavirus vaccination program, even after getting support under the COVAX global vaccine-sharing scheme, as reported in This is Money.

  • India plans to inoculate 300 million people over the next six to eight months, likely with vaccines from AstraZeneca, Russia's Sputnik V candidate, Zydus Cadila and India's own Bharat Biotech.

  • Documents underline the scale of the funding challenge India faces to immunize its vast population, with 600 million shots required in the first wave alone for critical workers and people most at risk from COVID-19, the news source said.

  • In the best case scenario, if India received 190 million to 250 million doses 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facility, then the government would need to line up about $1.4 billion to make up for the shortfall, according to an unpublished report prepared for GAVI's board meeting.

  • However, if India received a lower allocation of 95 million to 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, calling India's economic burden due to the pandemic "disproportionate" and suggesting a donor-funded plan of $1.3 billion to secure 190 million to 250 million doses.

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