Delhi, along with a bunch of southern Indian states, today joined several others in taking the global-tender route to procure COVID-19 vaccines even as domestic supply fails to keep up with rising demand. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Odisha have already chosen this option amid the searing second wave of the pandemic.
The Centre says it’s so far provided over 18 crore doses to states and Union Territories for free. They will receive 7,29,610 additional doses in the next three days.
“Over 90 lakh COVID Vaccine doses are still available with the states and Union Territories to be administered,” the Union Health Ministry has said, according to a PTI report.
Yet, many states and Union Territories still face so much shortage that many are now prioritising recipients’ second doses over the first so as to not lose the vaccine’s efficacy.
“Till now, we had depended only on vaccines supplied by the Centre…Now, we have been instructed to float the tender and to complete the process within seven days,” said Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and State Covid Task Force head CN Ashwath Narayan.
His state will procure two crore doses to vaccinate those in the age group of 18-44 years.
Addressing a press conference today, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia even alleged that the BJP-ruled Centre was “forcing” state governments to invite global tenders.