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Centre and states should jointly procure vaccines: SBI Research

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AFPA Covid vaccination centre in Delhi, closed because of non-availability of vaccines.The Centre and states should jointly procure Covid-19 vaccinations to ensure a sizable portion of the population gets vaccinated quickly and to bring uniformity in the vaccination cost for states, State Bank of India Research said in a report on Friday.

The total cost of India’s vaccination drive could go up to Rs 3.7 lakh crore, with the cost of vaccine procurement exceeding potential revenue loss from lockdowns for populous states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the report said.

“Poorer states with high populations would not be able to vaccinate themselves quickly. Meanwhile richer states may have to pay a much steeper price given the global oligopolistic market,” said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, SBI group chief economist, in the report.

Assuming the Centre provides 50% of the required vaccinations for the states, Sikkim would have to pay Rs 20 crore at a cost of $5 per vaccine.

At the upper end of the range of vaccine costs at $40 per shot, UP would have to pay Rs 67,100 crore while the figure worked out to 16% of Bihar’s total expenditure for FY22, SBI Research said.

While the final figure was likely to fall somewhere in between, the report emphasized that vaccine procurement was an absolute must considering the estimated revenue loss of Rs 5.5 lakh crore if lockdowns ended by June.


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