Updated: June 1, 2021 6:37:56 am
The Karnataka government has decided to directly approach vaccine makers to supply doses for the 18-44 group in the state after its global tender got no credible interest from suppliers.
“In response to the short-term global tender floated on May 15 two distribution companies submitted applications but these companies have not provided necessary documents. There was no representation from the companies at virtual meetings as well,” state deputy CM and Covid-19 ministerial task-force head Dr C N Ashwathanarayana said Monday.
Karnataka’s global tender had got a response from two Indian companies involved in importing materials ranging from industrial products to electronics.
Mumbai-based Bulk MRO Industrial Supply and Bengaluru-based Thulasi Systems claimed they would procure and supply the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
The decision not to drop the two firms from consideration was taken after they failed to make satisfactory financial bids, health department officials said.
The state government has now decided to purchase vaccines directly from manufacturing companies, Deputy Chief Minister Ashwathnarayan said.
“The process of communication has already been begun directly with manufacturing companies since the government is not in a position to wait on account of the threat of a possible third wave,” Ashwathanarayana said.
The Karnataka government halted the vaccination for the 18-44 age group on May 14. It is currently providing first doses only to frontline workers from the age group on account of severe shortages in the supply of the Covishield and Covaxin.
The Centre, which procured and supplied vaccines for vaccinations in the 45-plus group, has asked states to procure supplies to vaccinate the 18-44 group from pharma companies at their own cost and out of the 50 per cent supplies remaining after procurements are made by the union government.
The state government has begun vaccinating select beneficiaries in the 18-44 group for free—auto and cab drivers, disabled people, crematorium workers, and journalists, among others.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that students going abroad for studies and those travelling for work and employment would also get priority. The vaccinations for students going abroad will be launched on June 1 at the Bengaluru City University, Ashwathanarayana said.
“Those who wish to get inoculated should possess visas, admission receipts, or any such relevant documents with them,” he said.
Covishield will be given to those going abroad and the time gap for the second dose has been reduced to six weeks, he said.
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