Uttar Pradesh government will have to spend nearly Rs 5,715 crore or 18% of its health budget for 2021-22, to vaccinate its nearly 10 crore population of 18 to 44 year old with Covishield vaccine.
If it were to procure only Covaxin, the cost would increase by over Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 7,620 crore or 23% of its health budget. UP has made provision of Rs 32,000 crore in its health budget for 2021-22 against Rs 29,000 crore in 2020-21.
Until April 30, as per Central government policy, the government had been vaccinating only registered healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above the age of 45. Then the central government expanded vaccine eligibility to all adults.
The Centre would continue to procure 50% of manufacturers’ vaccine stocks for Covishield and Covaxin for vaccinating the former groups, and manufacturers could sell the remaining 50% of their vaccine stock to state governments and to private hospitals, as per the new policy. The burden of procuring and administering vaccines for those aged 18 to 44 was thus shifted to the state governments, and to those individual households that can afford private vaccination.
Official’s sources said here on Tuesday the inability of the domestic vaccine manufacturers to cope up with the demand following the surge in infection in second wave of the pandemic, the government decided for floating global tenders as there is huge demand for vaccine shots from the 18-44 age groups. Moreover as per Centre’s policy the inoculation of 18-44 age groups has become solely the state government’s responsibility since May 1.