March 22, 2021

The Indian COVID-19 Alliance (TICA) | Financing Track



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Financing the COVID-19 vaccination campaign

The Indian COVID Alliance’s (TICA) Financing Track outlines the allocations of funds set aside by the Central Government to detail what percentage of the adult population in India can be successfully vaccinated given this budget. We estimate that the Rs 35,000 crores (USD 5 bn) allocated by the Central government in the Union Budget for 2021-22 could cover the vaccine costs for half of the adult population. In addition, a significant portion of the costs of immunisation, mainly administrative resources, will be borne by states’ budgets. However, they have a low capacity to absorb these costs. Below are some key highlights of the study.


Note: This model has prices from February 2021, and has not been updated to reflect new prices announced in June 2021.

How much will the vaccination programme cost?

The Indian Government has allocated Rs 35,000 crore (USD 5bn) in 2021-2022 for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. This is based on an average cost of Rs 700 (USD 9.6) per vaccination with an objective to vaccinate 500 million individuals within a year. However, the price of the vaccines is only a fraction of the total campaign cost: the Universal Immunization program estimates it represents 18.44% of the total costs of running a campaign. 


Below is our interactive tool that calculates the total budget of the vaccination campaign depending on the price of vaccines, the number of doses to be administered and the percentage of the population that will be covered.


State budgets and their ability to finance the vaccines

While the Centre is supporting the vaccination campaign, it should be reasonable to expect that in the future, states may have to cover costs for vaccinating a certain proportion of their adult population. In this scenario, we calculate the burden that may fall on state governments, largely due to the administrative costs. For states such as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh or West Bengal, the cost of vaccinating even 30% of the population would amount to 61-64% of their total health budget for 2020-21, as charted in Figure 1 below.

Spending on public health accounts for a minimal portion of state budgets -- with large variations in spending across states. As seen in Figure 2, the per capita spending on health varies from Goa spending Rs 8950 (USD ~124) per capita to a minuscule Rs 820 (USD ~11) per capita for the state of Bihar.




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