GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat government will have to spend over Rs 2,000 crore to immunize people between the age of 18 and 45 years.
While the government of India has been funding the vaccination drive of citizens above the age of 45, the state government will have to pay vaccine manufacturers for doses to inoculate persons between the ages of 18 and 45.
According to government sources, there are about 3.25 crore citizens between the ages of 18 and 45 in Gujarat. With each citizens requiring to be administered two vaccine doses, there is requirement of 6.50 crore doses of the vaccine for this age group.
The state government has placed orders of 2.50 crore doses with two Indian vaccine manufacturers. While an order of two crore doses has been placed with Pune-based Serum Institute of India, an order of 50 lakh doses of the vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad, has also been placed.
“Serum Institute is charging Rs 300 per dose, while one dose of Bharat Biotech vaccine is priced at Rs 400. The state government has placed orders for vaccine doses worth Rs 800 crore — Rs 600 crore for SII vaccine doses and Rs 200 crore for Bharat Biotech vaccine doses,” sources said. Sources added, “The government is paying advance to both the companies in proportion to the decided delivery schedule. For a total of 6.50 crore estimated doses, the state government will have to spend anywhere between Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 2,200 crore.”
Having already placed orders for 2.50 crore doses, the state government has begun talks with GOI-approved foreign and Indian vaccine suppliers. “We will place orders with those companies who will offer vaccine doses at cheapest rates. Our priority will be to procure reliable vaccines from companies who can supply them at the earliest,” sources said.