NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $1.5 billion loan for Indian government to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, it said in a statement on Thursday.
The ADB said the loan would fund at least 667 million vaccine doses for an estimated 317 million people, adding that it also expected to co-finance an additional $500 million for vaccine procurement.
India is aiming to fully vaccinate nearly 945 million people aged 18 years and above, about 70% of its population.
ADB said the loan would be financed through its $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility, launched in December 2020 to provide rapid and equitable vaccine-related support to the development bank’s member countries.
India has so far administered 1.19 billion vaccine doses – at least one dose for 82% of its 944 million adults, with 44% of adults having received a second dose.
(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Catherine Evans)