Slow start to Telangana’s global vaccination bids, state | Live Newspaper Hyderabad

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HYDERABAD: The Telangana government’s global tenders for Covid-19 vaccines have so far received a lukewarm response from manufacturers. While the state requires four crore doses to vaccinate all, the suppliers have expressed their inability to ensure huge quantities in the available time. So far, close to 60 lakh people have received the jabs in the state.
The manufacturers also cited huge monthly supply targets, lack of time and high demand for vaccines across the globe as other reasons for their helplessness. Health officials, however, said they are optimistic as they have time till June 4 to receive some more tenders.
At least a dozen states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha and Uttarakhand are inviting global tenders citing the shortage of vaccine stocks. Uttar Pradesh was the first to float a global tender 10 days ago for 40 million doses of the vaccine, while the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation floated a global tender for10 million doses.
The Telangana government had invited global tenders through Telangana State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation recently for procuring one crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine from the manufacturers or their agents in case of imported jabs. A prebid meeting was held on Wednesday with prospective bidders on the tenders.
The manufacturers of AstraZeneca (UK) and Sputnik V (Russia) vaccines participated in the prebid meeting apart from agents and distributors from other firms. They sought clarifications about supply schedule, cold chain and payment methods,” TSMSIDC managing director K Chandrasekhar Reddy told TOI on Thursday.
Sources said the manufacturers are believed to have asked the state government to ease the clause that the successful bidder of vaccine should supply a minimum of 15 lakh doses a month and that supplies have to be initiated within seven days after issuance of letter of intent. They reportedly told the TSMSIDC officials that there is a huge demand not only from various states in the country, but also from other countries. One company is believed to have sought cold chain facilities as it has two versions of vaccines.
Senior officials said the government is keen to get global vaccine producers on board as local manufactures may not be in a position to meet the vaccine requirements of the state within a short time. With Pfizer and Moderna making it clear that they would deal only with the Centre and not with states, the Telangana government has a limited scope to procure vaccines from the global manufacturers, officials explained.
As per the Union government’s directive, 50 per cent of the total number of vaccines should be given to the Centre, while the rest would be handed over to state government and private hospitals. “Of the total production, the states may get only 30-35%of vaccines in the country,” a senior official said.
Chandrasekhar Reddy said indigenous manufacturers did not attend the pre-bid meeting as they have been supplying vaccines to the state. “Earlier, they had attended meetings on vaccine supplies to the state,” Reddy said.

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