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COVID-19 vaccine shortage| After UP and Maharashtra, four more states invite global tenders for 121 million doses

At least a dozen states have said they will invite global tenders given the shortage of vaccine stocks with the two local manufacturers, with the rest in the process of preparing bids.

May 16, 2021 / 11:05 AM IST
Representative image

Representative image

 After Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai’s civic body, four more states on May 15 floated global tenders for procuring a total of 121 million vaccine doses. News18 has reviewed copies of the tenders floated by the governments of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha and Uttarakhand.

While Tamil Nadu’s tender has cited a requirement of 50 million vaccine doses within three months of placing an order, Odisha’s tender has sought 38 million vaccine doses within four months of order while Uttarakhand’s tender has sought vaccines for “3 million individuals”. On the other hand, Karnataka government floated a global tender for procuring three crore COVID-19 vaccines owing to supply shortage.

Uttar Pradesh was the first to float a global tender last week for 40 million doses of the vaccine while the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai earlier this week floated a global tender for 10 million doses. At least a dozen states have said they will invite global tenders given the shortage of vaccine stocks with the two local manufacturers, with the rest in the process of preparing bids. The Centre had last month allowed states to directly import vaccines from abroad for vaccinating the 18-44 age group.

Tamil Nadu has asked for bids by June 5 and asked for the supplies at the state vaccine stores in Chennai and district vaccine stores at Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Trichirapalli, Madurai, Sivagangai, Tirunelveli, Vellore, Salem and Coimbatore. The vaccine storage temperature has been specified to be between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. For a manufacturer bidder, the entity should have supplied at least 200 million doses, in any one of the last two years to any country in the world, of which at least 50 million doses should have been supplied in the last one year, the tender stipulation says.

The manufacturer should have a production capacity of at least 20 million doses per annum, the tender document of the Tamil Nadu government says.


On May 15, Karnataka COVID task force approved Rs 843 crore to float global tender for vaccines and Rs 75 crore for global tender for 5 lakh Remdesevir injections.

'The state has placed a purchase order for three crore doses of vaccines (30 million), two crore doses of Covishield and one crore doses of Covaxin.

We are floating global tenders for an additional two crores,' said Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.

The Odisha government’s global tender asks for bids to be submitted by May 28 and has asked for 38 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine which can be stored between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. The Odisha government has specified that vaccines supplied must have a minimum of 80 percent remaining shelf life for the domestic manufacturer and a minimum of 60 percent remaining shelf life for the foreign manufacturer at the time of supply. The document says from the date of signing the agreement, 7.5 million doses must be supplied within 30 days, a total of 22.5 million doses within two months, up to 37.5 million doses within three months and the full 38 million doses within four months.

The Odisha government has said it will make full payment within two working days of receipt of each consignment and advance payment will be released to the tune of 30 percent of the value of each purchase order.

The Uttarakhand government’s global tender has meanwhile said the global ‘Request for Proposal’ (RFP) has been floated “considering the short availability of COVID- 19 vaccine in India” and mentioned that due to surge in cases, the health infrastructure of the state is stretched. “Vaccination of an individual can prevent a new case of COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 vaccine has the potential to give relief to stretched healthcare infrastructure. It is proposed to procure COVID-19 vaccine for vaccinating the population residing/working within the jurisdiction of the state,” the state government tender has said, asking for vaccines for 3 million individuals.

“The applicant should not belong to countries sharing borders with India,” the tender has mentioned, hence ruling out vaccine supplies from China. “The applicant in their own name should have satisfactorily supplied COVID vaccines to a public organisation of Government of India Or any other Government in America/Europe/ Australia /Asia excluding countries sharing borders with India,” the tender mentions.

It has added that the applicant should have their own cold chain transporting system from their manufacturing unit or should have a valid contract with a transporting agent having facilities for transporting COVID vaccines under cold chain norms to the storage facility. The tender document adds that the state government presently has cold storage facilities with a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees.

“If the COVID vaccine requires storage and temperature requirement other than that, the applicant will have to provide the required storage facility for the COVID vaccine at Dehradun, Uttarakhand,” the tender adds.

Aman Sharma is a writer at News18
first published: May 15, 2021 05:50 pm

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