New Delhi: Days after Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla asked the government if it had Rs 80,000 crore for the purchase and distribution of the Corona vaccine in the India, the Home Ministry said that it did not agree with the calculation of Rs 80,000 crore. Also Read - COVID-19 Vaccine Latest Updates: What's Happening in India, China, US, and Russia

Adar Poonawalla on Saturday took to Twitter to spell out the next challenge India needs to tackle in its fight against Coronavirus. He had wondered if the Centre will have Rs 80,000 crores over the next one year for the purchase and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to everyone in India. Also Read - Serum Institute to Produce up to Additional 100 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses For India in 2021

“Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next one year? Because that’s what @MoHFW_INDIA needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India. This is the next concerning challenge we need to tackle.” Also Read - Day After Spelling Out 'Challenge' For Govt, Serum Institute CEO Applauds Modi For His Vision to Provide Vaccine to Global Community

Responding to his question, Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday said, “We do not agree by the calculation of Rs 80,000 crore. The government has made a national committee on vaccine experts and five meetings have taken place till now.”

“In these meetings, we have mulled over the process of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the amount required for it in terms of prioritisation of population and the staggered immunisation for this prioritisation.

“We have calculated the amount required in the meetings and currently, that amount is available with the government,” said Bhushan.

Notably, India is the manufacturing partner of the vaccine candidate named Covishield, developed jointly by the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute’s and AstraZeneca. The Pune-based firm, SII, is looking after the trials at 17 trial sites across India.