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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Vaccine rates in bids received for global tender much higher than Indian market prices: Rajasthan minister

On May 14, the Rajasthan government had issued a global expression of interest from foreign-based international manufacturers/their authorised agents/direct importers for the procurement of ten million doses of Covid-19 vaccine.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur |
Updated: May 26, 2021 2:32:34 am
People queue up for vaccination. (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

The rates quoted by interested parties in response to the global expression of interest (EoI) issued by the Rajasthan government, for urgent procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, are much higher than the present market rates of Covid vaccines in India, state Health Minister Raghu Sharma has said.

“Around nine parties, including those claiming to be authorised agents of AstraZeneca and Sputnik, have expressed interests by sending their quotations. Preliminarily, it is being seen that there is a huge difference between the present market rates for vaccines in India and the bids quoted by them, with the latter being much higher,” Health Minister Sharma told The Indian Express on Tuesday.

He added that credentials of the agents are being verified before negotiations can start.

“We are verifying the credentials of the agents who have sent quotations, following which the negotiations about rates can start. We will finalise the names after judging proposals on the basis of rates, competence and the time period within which the vaccines can be supplied,” said Sharma.

“Had the central government procured the vaccines themselves, there wouldn’t have been a need for states to float global tenders,” he added.

According to officials, Rajasthan is currently purchasing Covishield at Rs 300 per dose and Covaxin at Rs 400 per dose.

A top official from the state health department said on condition of anonymity that credentials of agents in foreign countries are being verified with the help of embassies.

The official also added that bid quotation rates received are much higher than the present rate at which the government is purchasing vaccines.

Both the minister and senior health department officials remained tightlipped about the exact prices received as bids from the nine parties and refused to divulge more details until the negotiations are completed.

Last month, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had announced free vaccination for Covid-19.

He had said that there are about 3.75 crore people in 18-45 age group in the state, and two vaccines per person would cost about Rs 3,000 crore to the state public exchequer.

On May 14, the Rajasthan government had issued a global expression of interest from foreign-based international manufacturers/their authorised agents/direct importers for the procurement of ten million doses of Covid-19 vaccine. Interested bidders were asked to submit their bids by May 20.

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