At a time when there is an acute crisis of COVID-19 vaccines in the country, the global tenders floated by various states for procuring vaccines have failed to generate any result. In fact, many vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer and Moderna, have made it clear that they will not sell vaccines directly to states and will deal with the Centre. The Centre had recently allowed states to
Notably, the shortage of vaccines, despite the Union government’s tall claims, is evident by the drop in daily immunization figures provided by the health ministry. Many states have stopped vaccinating people in the age group of 18-44 years. Not just this, even people in the age group of 45 and above are also not getting the vaccine.
With Serum Institute of India that manufactures ‘Covishield’ and Bharat Biotech that manufactures ‘Covaxin’ unable to meet the domestic demand, states are left with no option but to import vaccines by floating global tenders. So far, the Indian government has allowed three vaccines for COVID-19 in the country—Covishield, Covaxin and Russia’s Sputnik V.
Global tenders by states
Several states including Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana have floated tenders for procurement of vaccines.
However, companies such as Moderna and Pfizer have made it clear to Punjab and Delhi that they will not deal with states and their policy is to deal with the government of India.
Delhi CM’s request to Centre
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that the US pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna have made it clear that they will not sell vaccines directly to the Delhi government and instead they will deal with the Centre only.
Kejriwal said, “We’ve spoken to Pfizer and Moderna for vaccines, and both the manufacturers have refused to sell vaccines directly to us. They have said they will deal with the central government. We appeal to the centre to import vaccines and distribute to the states.”
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