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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $1.5 billion (around 11,185 crore) loan to India for purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.

"ADB today approved a $1.5 billion loan to help the Government of India purchase safe and effective vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19)," ADB said in a statement on Thursday.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is expected to co-finance an additional $500 million for the project, it said.

ADB said the loan 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.

As of November 24, India's cumulative vaccination coverage crossed 119 crore. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2.

The country launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1. The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 years to be vaccinated from May 1.

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