ADB extends support to India to enhance Covid vaccines access – ET HealthWorld

ADB extends support to India to enhance Covid vaccines access – ET HealthWorld

ADB extends support to India to enhance Covid vaccines accessAsian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 1.5 billion (over Rs 11,000 crore) loan to India to enhance vaccine procurement against the Covid-19. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) also expected to co-finance an additional $500 million for the project.

The loans will fund at least 667 million Covid vaccine doses for an estimated 317 million people. It will support India’s national deployment and vaccination plan which aims to fully vaccinate 944.7 million people aged 18 years old and above, accounting for 68.9% of the population, ADB said in a statement on Thursday.

Priority groups include health care and frontline workers, senior citizens, and those aged 45–59 years with comorbidities.

India had recently applied for loans from the ADB and the AIIB to procure as many as 667 million doses of Covid vaccines.

ADB is Manila-based in which the U.S. and Japan are the biggest shareholders, and the AIIB is Beijing-based,where China and India are the biggest shareholders.

“ADB’s support will help the government protect its citizens from further transmission of this disease and save lives,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.

Vaccines are critical in overcoming the intertwined health, social, and economic impacts of the pandemic, including rejuvenating economic activities, sustaining health services, restoration of livelihoods, and reopening of educational institutions, with renewed focus on social and human development priorities.” ADB noted.

This support is being provided in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Earlier In 2020, ADB had approved a $1.5 billion Covid-19 (Active Response and Expenditure Support Program) to support India in its immediate pandemic response efforts and another $300 million loan to strengthen and improve access to comprehensive primary health care in urban areas and to better respond to future pandemics and other emergencies.

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