COVID-19 vaccination drive at Gautam Buddh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh. So far, vaccines have been administered to only 13.5 million out of the 230 million people living in the state. (Representative image)
New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has issued the first global tender in the country for Covid-19 vaccines, specifying it wants 40 million doses within six months of vaccines that can be stored in minus-2 to minus-8 degrees Celsius. At least six million doses are to be supplied each month directly to its nine warehouses in the state, UP has said.
News18 has a copy of the 76-page tender document issued by the UP government on May 7. The pre-bid meeting for the tender has been called via Google Meet on May 12 and a deposit of Rs 160 million (Rs 16 crore) has been sought for bids closing May 21.
News18 The timeline of the tender suggests that UP is expecting the 40 million doses to arrive in batches by end of this year. “The procurement of Covid vaccine under the tender will be sourced for funds by the UP State Government Budget,” the bid document says.
Maharashtra was the first last month to express its intent to invite a global tender for vaccines but it is not known if that tender has been invited as yet. The UP tender, coincidentally, came on a day when the Allahabad High Court asked the UP government to file a detailed report on how it plans to expedite its purchase of vaccines from the global market through the said global tender.
The HC also asked the UP government to vaccinate all residents of the state within the next three to four months. The same may not be possible as UP has done only 13.5 million vaccinations so far, against its total population of 230 million.
The bid document says UP requires six million to eight million doses of the vaccine to be supplied every month, and a penalty would be levied if supplies are late. “Total supply of 40 Million doses shall be completed within six months period of issuance of Letter of Intent,” the document says.
The state government has also said that bidders offering the vaccines should either have their own cold-chain transport system or should have proper contract with a logistics agent having the facilities to transport the jabs under cold-chain norms from the manufacturing unit to the respective warehouses of the UP government in Varanasi, Meerut, Lucknow, Agra, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Jhansi, Bareilly and Ayodhya.
“The supply will be prepared and packed with the words - Uttar Pradesh Govt. Supplies - Not for sale,” the bid document has added.
News18 two days ago reported that UP was performing the worst in India in terms of jabs given per million population. All states, including UP, are facing a shortage of vaccine supply from the two Indian manufacturers for the population aged 18-44. The new vaccination policy of the government has allowed states to import vaccines for this age-group.
Contract award conditions
Contract will be awarded to the qualified bidder whose bid has been determined to be “substantially responsive”, and has been determined to be the “lowest evaluated bid, subject to the bidder agreeing to all terms and conditions”, the bid document says. It says that in the case of non-acceptance of agreement, the purchaser will proceed to the next-lowest evaluated Bidder. “This contract will be called Principal Contract,” the document says.
It, however, adds that if the requirement arises the government shall have the right to call other eligible firms to match the lowest bidder rates. “If such firms are found, then the order quantity may be dispersed in ratio of 60% for L1 & 40% for those who match L1. This contract will be called Parallel contract,” the document adds.
A bidder may have the nationality of any country and may be a firm that is a private entity, a government-owned entity—or any combination of such entities in the form of a joint venture (JV) under an existing agreement or with the intent to enter into such an agreement supported by a letter of intent, the document says.
“Manufacturing units and manufacturers' authorized agents (for imported product only) are eligible to participate in the tender, provided they have valid license to manufacture or export the items quoted to India as per specifications mentioned in the tender from the Competent Authority or Food and Drugs Administration, Government of India,” the document says. It adds that the vaccines to be supplied must be as per the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“DCGI (Drugs Controller General of India) approval for supply of the vaccines in Indian Territory must be supplied in form of Import License in form 10 and Import Registration certificate in Form 41. The bidder having own manufacturing License should hold valid WHO-GMP certificate issued by the Licensing authorities for all the premises, from where quoted product is being manufactured. In case of Imported drugs, labels and product literature of all quoted products must be submitted with WHO-GMP or COPP which is at par with WHO-GMP issued by the authorities of exporting countries like US FDA, etc., or COPP certificate of their Principal Manufacturing Company or firm,” the document says.
WHO-GMP certificate is a reference to the World Health Organization's Good Manufacturing Practices. COPP stands for certificate of pharmaceutical product. And US FDA is America's Food and Drug Administration.