The Modi government has estimated a total cost of about $6-$7 per person in India, as confirmed by the people, who requested to remain anonymous.
The money provisioned so far is for the current financial year ending March 31 and there will be no shortage of further funds for this purpose, they added.
Serum Institute head Adar Poonawalla, predicts that the country would need about 800 billion rupees to procure and inoculate people living everywhere from the Himalayas to the most remote Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
The entire process, from buying to transporting them from the manufacturing sites, would be a massive undertaking.
Delivering a vaccine across India “will be a gigantic task,” comments Mahesh Devnani, an associate professor at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, during a recent webinar.
“We need a prioritization plan, everyone cannot have it initially.”
By one estimate, airlifting single-dose regimens to protect the world’s population would require space in about 8,000 cargo planes.
The biggest challenge for India will be building up cold-chain logistics to distribute vaccines across India in a short period of time, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the founder and chairman of Biocon Ltd., said at the Bloomberg India Economic Forum last week.
“I do hope by the end of November that we are able to say we have a plan” and digital platforms to help roll out vaccines, she said.
While a government-backed panel predicts that India is past the peak of infections and may contain the spread by February, the nation has taken a massive blow to economic growth and Modi has been reopening the economy.
Since this being a peak period for a variety of festivals in India, this may lead to a sharp jump in daily virus infections. The Modi government will ensure all Indians have access to a Covid-19 vaccine as soon it is ready.