India will have to order a billion Covid vaccine doses to inoculate a majority of the population, according to a discussion note by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“To get to 60 per cent coverage, India will need to immediately place sufficient vaccine orders of about 1 billion doses through contracts that incentivise investment in additional capacity and augmentation of the supply chain,” according to a discussion note, co-authored by IMF’s chief economist Gita Gopinath and economist Ruchir Agarwal.
A report in the Economic Times, which had access to the discussion note, said that it urged India to centralise vaccine purchase. It proposed a three-pronged $50 billion plan to tackle the pandemic in India.
“Efforts should be made to ensure that the projected production capacity will materialise without delay, including through securing the supply chain for raw materials – supported by international efforts to eliminate export restrictions on all critical inputs,” it added.
The paper estimated that additional funding needed by the Indian government to cover the 18-44 age group was 0.25 percent of GDP. “That is not such a big fiscal cost,” it said. “It is a small amount, and that is something to keep in mind.
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