May 21, 2021 10:25:21 pm
To speed up procurement of vaccines for Mumbai, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has approached Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for supply of Sputnik V.
Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal on Friday wrote a letter to RDIF for direct procurement of 1 crore vaccine doses. The civic body has also got in touch with the Russian consulate to expedite the process.
Sputnik V is developed by Gamaleya National Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, and RDIF is a global commercialisation partner for it.
Last week, the BMC floated a global expression of interest (EOI) for procurement of 1 crore vaccine doses for Mumbai.
Chahal in the letter to Kiril Dimitriev, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RDIF, said that BMC is interested in purchase of 5 million double doses of Covid vaccines. “The cost of vaccines will be paid by MCGM (BMC), one the payment procedures are communicated to us. We are already in touch with Consulate General of Russian Federation, Mumbai, and they advised us to directly get in touch with you for the same,” reads the letter. Officials said that the purchase could cost BMC more than Rs 500 crore.
The BMC’s global tender has so far received responses from three distributors who can supply Sputnik V. Of these, two are Hyderabad-based firms while another is a facilitator from London.
However, their proposals are incomplete and the corporation has asked for more documentation. The development came on a day the BMC extended the last date for submission of bids by one week to May 25.
“We directly got in touch with RDIF rather than going through some other firms. We will wait for their response,” P Velrasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner, told The Indian Express.
According to the officials, the firms are yet to reply with queries raised by the BMC. The Indian firms have failed to submit authorisation letter from Russian vaccine manufacturers.
“We have asked the international firm to give details like countries they have supplied the vaccines. But the firm is yet to share the details,” Velrasu said.
Sputnik V can be stored in 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius. Since Mumbai has similar cooling infrastructure, it will not require additional cold-chain infrastructure. According to the manufacturer, the 21-day gap between the first and second dose of the vaccine will provide 91% efficacy.
The price of the vaccine has been fixed at Rs 995 for one dose. So far, about 3 lakh doses of Sputnik V have been delivered in India. By July, manufacturing of Sputnik V will begin in India in association with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories based in Hyderabad.
According to officials, the firms bidding for supplying vaccines to Mumbai will have to secure all mandatory clearances, including those needed from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
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