Chinese vaccine manufacturers allowed to bid in Tamil Nadu, unlike Mumbai

Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai

Tamil Nadu government’s global tender for 3.5 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine does not restrict Chinese vaccine makers from bidding, said an official.

“We are allowing every product (vaccine) as long as it is approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and licensed by the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI),” a senior official told IANS.

According to the official, about 6 vaccines have been approved by WHO and 3 by DCGI.

On the other hand, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in its 1 crore vaccine dose tender has disqualified companies located in countries sharing borders with India from participating in the bid, thus disqualifying Chinese vaccine manufacturers.

The only restrictions specified in the tender issued by Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Ltd are:

(a) the bidder’s vaccine should be approved by WHO and licensed for use in India by DCGI on the day of bidding.

In case the vaccine is approved by WHO but not approved by the DCGI on the day of bidding then purchase is subject to the issue of license/approval by DCGI.

(b) The vaccine storage temperature specification should be “2-8°C. Do not freeze.

(c) If bid is made by a vaccine manufacturer then it should either directly or through any other authorised dealer must have supplied to the extent of at least 200 million doses, in any one of the last 2 years to any country in the world, of which at least 50 million doses should have been supplied in the last year; and,

(d) In case the bidder is not a manufacturer, then he as authorised by the manufacturer must have supplied goods similar to the extent of at least 50 million doses in any one of the last two years to any country in the world, of which at least 25 million doses should have been supplied in the last year.

UP amends tender for Pfizer, Moderna

Firms bidding from China need Central nod

The Yogi government has amended its global tender for Covid-19 vaccines issued last week to make storage conditions flexible and allow companies like Pfizer and Moderna to be eligible to place bids. UP has also introduced a new provision in its tender saying companies applying from neighbouring countries (like China) would first need to obtain the Centre’s nod, as per News18.

In the initial tender on May 7 for 40 million vaccine doses, the UP government said the vaccine should be able to be stored between 2 and 8°C. This effectively put MNRA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna out of the race as they require much lower storage temperatures of -70°C and -20°C, respectively. Pfizer, however, still attended UP’s pre-bid tender meeting on May 12, along with Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech, Zydus and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (manufacturing Russia-made Sputnik). Most of the vaccines produced by these companies can be stored at 2 to 8°C.

“The Covid vaccine other than temperature range requirement (2-8°C) may also be accepted subject to fulfillment of all other terms and conditions mentioned in the bid. For vaccine which require storage, transportation and temperature range other than above (2-8°C) like -20°C/ -70°C/ -80°C, seller has to advice and facilitate the transportation up to consignee place and safe storage at consignee store till the time vaccine is dispatched from consignee store to ultimate destination (vaccine administration place),” the amended tender says. The UP government has storage facility at its store for temp range, 2-8°C (in the form of walk-in cooler, Ice lined refrigerator) and “limited capacity of minus 20°C (in the form of deep freezer)”, it said.

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