TN allows Chinese Covid vaccine makers to bid unlike Mumbai

By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai, May 16 (IANS): 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 six vaccines have been approved by WHO and three by DCGI.

On the other hand, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in its one 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 Drugs Controller General of India (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 degrees C. Do not freez"

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

Meanwhile, syringe manufacturers are expecting a spike in demand for their products with different states going in for global tenders for Covid-19 vaccine.

While the states are issuing tenders for Covid-19 vaccine, tenders for syringes are yet to be made.

"A spike in demand will be there. But post Covid-19, manufacturers will be saddled with huge surplus capacities," Rajiv Nath, President, All India Syringes and Needles Manufacturers Association (AISNMA) told IANS.

Nath who is also the Managing Director of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd added: "The Central Government has booked our capacity for auto-disable syringes for Covid-19 vaccine."

According to him, the Central Government should be supplying the auto-disable syringes stockpiled with them to the states.




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