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₹ 5,000 Crore Outlay In Next Fiscal For Covid Vaccination: Finance Secretary

The government has earmarked ₹ 5,000 crore in the next fiscal just for Covid vaccination of 15-17-year-age group and precautionary dose for senior citizens, Finance Secretary T V Somanathan said, emphasising more money will be allocated as needs arise

The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive started on January 16, 2021

New Delhi: The government has earmarked ₹ 5,000 crore in the next fiscal just for Covid vaccination of 15-17-year-age group and precautionary dose for senior citizens, Finance Secretary T V Somanathan said, emphasising more money will be allocated as needs arise. The government in the last Budget had provisioned ₹ 35,000 crore towards Covid vaccination for the 2021-22 fiscal. The amount has been upped to ₹ 39,000 crore in the revised estimates.

Asked about the reason for reduced outlay for 2022-23 fiscal, Somanathan explained that while the outlay in the last budget was towards vaccinating full adult population, the next fiscal’s allocation needs to be seen in the context of ‘precautionary doses’ and jabs to children in the age group of 15-17 years.

Also Read: Huge Volumes Of COVID Hospital Waste Threaten Health And Environment: WHO

Last year the provision was for two doses of vaccination for 100 per cent of adult population. The allocations are made based on the evolving health policy. Currently the health policy is booster for certain segments — frontline, above 60 years and vaccination for 15-17 years. That amount has been catered to. ₹ 5,000 crore has been earmarked, he said.

The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive started on January 16, 2021. The new phase of universalisation of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from June 21, 2021. As part of the nationwide vaccination drive, the Government of India has been supporting the states and UTs by providing them COVID vaccines free of cost.

Over 75 per cent of the country’s adult population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 164.36 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states and Union Territories as a part of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Also Read: Covishield and Covaxin Granted Regular Market Approval For Adults

Vaccination for children of 15-17-age group has begun from January 3, while ‘precautionary dose’ for 60 years and above began from January 10. Somanathan further said: “As policies are evolved, the budgets will follow. But Budget will not precede the policy”.

The secretary said there has been an increase in health outlay for next fiscal to ₹ 83,000 crore. In the current fiscal, ₹ 82,921 crore has been pegged in the Revised Estimates (RE), up from and ₹ 71,269 crore in the Budget Estimates. Also expenditure on health research too has seen an increase to ₹ 3,201 crore in the next fiscal, from ₹ 3,080 crore in the RE of current fiscal.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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