Toeing the lines of their Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai counterparts, the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has adopted an initiative to procure vaccines on an independent basis in order to speed up the inoculation drive which is limping due to an acute shortage of jabs. On 28 May, the civic body floated advertisements seeking global expression of interest (EoI) in order to procure 4 lakh doses of vaccines.
While the central government shoulders the responsibility of providing free Covid-19 vaccine jabs for the 45-plus age category, health care workers and front line workers, the onus of arranging jabs for the 18-44 age group is on the state governments. However, the state government itself is struggling to make necessary arrangements, prompting the MBMC to float the global tenders. The last date for participation in the tender process floated for procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine from the international market is 10, June.
If the purchase process materializes, the civic administration will have to pay around Rs. 40 crore for the 4 lakh jabs at an average cost of Rs. 1,000 each. “We will not let funds become an obstacle for procuring vaccines. Our top priority is to eliminate the threat of the deadly coronavirus, for this we have to broaden the vaccination drive and ensure maximum coverage in minimum time. Apart from following up with the government to release funds, we are tapping new avenues of revenue generation and also in the process mopping up all pending dues.” said MBMC chief- Dilip Dhole.
The MBMC which has already spent around Rs.125 crore to combat the pandemic had sought Rs.174 crore as Covid-19 financial assistance from the state government. However funds amounting only Rs. 25 crore have been disbursed so far. Meanwhile a total of 2,49,956 doses have been administered (first and second shot) to citizens since the launch of the drive.