UP to float global tender for 4 crore vaccines

By: |
April 30, 2021 4:00 AM

The decision was taken by the government’s core committee meeting to help the administration meet the demand for vaccines in the 18-44 age group that will be eligible for vaccination from May 1.

MSME minister and government spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh told FE that the government will float a global tender for procuring 4 crore vaccines in a day or two.MSME minister and government spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh told FE that the government will float a global tender for procuring 4 crore vaccines in a day or two.

Ahead of the crucial phase- 3 vaccination drive for those in the 18–44 year age bracket that kicks off on May 1, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to float a global tender to procure 4 crore vaccines in order to vaccinate the people of the state.

The decision was taken by the government’s core committee meeting to help the administration meet the demand for vaccines in the 18-44 age group that will be eligible for vaccination from May 1.

MSME minister and government spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh told FE that the government will float a global tender for procuring 4 crore vaccines in a day or two.

“We would be calling for a global tender either by today or tomorrow for 4 crore vials initially, which can be extended to another 4 crores, subject to the requirement. We will give it ten days so that we are able to start it at the earliest,” he said.

As Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in the country, with a population of over 23 crore, the government has a herculean task to vaccinate all those who are going to be eligible from May 1. Though it has already placed an order for 1 crore vaccines — 50 lakhs each from the makers of Covishield and Covaxin — but that is clearly not going to be enough to meet the demand. As a result, it has decided to explore global options so that the demand could be met.

The scramble for vaccines started after the Centre told the states that the current stock of vaccines supplied by it were to be used only to inoculate those who are above the age of 45, as part of its phase-2 roll-out and that they cannot use the existing supply of doses for the third phase. With just two days left for the phase- 3 inoculation drive to begin, the state has started preparing to start the vaccination drive.

“We have the vaccination centres ready, the apparatus and infrastructure, including the cold chains are also ready. But it all boils down to the supply timeline. We are waiting for the supply timeline to be given by both the vaccine manufactures. The minute we get it, we will start rolling out the process,” the minister said, adding that in the meantime, the registration of those who will be vaccinated has started on the portal.

“We are waiting for both Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India to submit their schedule by tomorrow, after which we will start rolling out the drive,” said Navneet Sehgal, additional chief secretary, information.

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