The Centre said it has so far provided more than 18 crore vaccine doses to states and UTs free of cost, but many of them have complained of an acute shortage of the jabs and are now prioritising people who need to be given their second dose within a prescribed period.
Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha have also taken the global tender route for procuring vaccines swiftly. Two crore COVID vaccine doses will be procured through global tender to meet the increased demand and to facilitate vaccination of the age group of 18-44 years, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state COVID task force head C N Ashwath Narayan said. Delhi government too said it will float a global tender for procuring coronavirus vaccines.
Officials said the Andhra Pradesh government will float a global tender in a day or two for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines from foreign manufacturers to complete the vaccination process as quickly as possible. “We are exploring the option of buying the vaccine from any foreign manufacturer since there is a short supply of Covishield and Covaxin,” the state’s Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal said.
The Odisha government on Monday said it had decided to float a global tender for procuring the vaccine to inoculate the state’s entire population.
Every month, 50 percent of the total Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) cleared vaccine doses of any manufacturer are procured by the Centre, while the remaining 50 per cent are for states and private establishments.
Citing shortage of vaccine, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday decided to divert three lakh vials of Covaxin meant for the 18-44 age group for the use of the people aged 45 years and above who are due to get their second dose.