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Aatmanirbhar Bharat 3.0: Govt grants Rs 900 crore for COVID-19 vaccine R&D

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New Delhi, Nov 12: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced that the Centre would provide Rs 900 crore for Research and Development (R&D) activities related to the novel coronavirus vaccine to The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.

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    Nirmala Sitharaman

    It can be seen that the announcement clarifies the grant does not cover the actual cost of vaccine and distribution expenses, which will be made separately as and when the vaccine is available.

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    Excitement over the news of potentially effective vaccines for the deadly COVID-19 has been tempered by concerns over the logistical challenges of ensuring access to billions of people. On the other side, caseloads are rising, leading governments to re-instate restrictions on business and other activities to battle the pandemic.

    Recently, Russia claimed that its Sputnik V vaccine is 92 percent effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim trial results, the country's sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday, as Moscow rushed to keep pace with Western drugmakers in the race for a shot.

    Also, it can be seen that Russia's results are only the second from a late-stage human trial, following on swiftly from data released on Monday by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, which said their shot was also more than 90 percent effective.

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