Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is currently presenting Union Budget 2021-22 in Parliament announced the allocation of Rs 35,000 crore for the coronavirus vaccines while asserting that the central government is committed to provide further support to eradicate the coronavirus disease.
Nirmala Sitharaman said that there are currently two coronavirus vaccines in India — Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin — but, “two more will be launched” to prevent the country against the Covid-19 infection.
Nirmala Sitharaman said the government’s Aatmanirbhar packages totaling Rs 27.1 lakh crore to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, accelerated the pace of structural reforms. In the first-ever paperless Union Budget 2021, Nirmala Sitharaman also proposed the introduction of Aatmanirbhar health programme with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore. “This will be in addition to the national health mission,” Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in January launched the world’s biggest vaccination drive by pressing the button to kickstart the event across India. Launching India’s vaccine drive in the fight against Covid-19, PM Modi said only two other nations have conducted such massive vaccination drives US and China.
PM Modi also reminded that although it takes many years for researchers to develop successful vaccines, India now has 2 ‘Made in India’ vaccines within a year of the pandemic.
“Normally, it takes many years to make a vaccine but in such a short span of time, not one, but two ‘Made in India’ vaccines are ready. Meanwhile, the work on other vaccines is progressing at a fast pace,” said PM Modi.