The Uttar Pradesh government may directly procure a large amount of international Covid-19 vaccines such as Sputnik V and those developed by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, officials in the state government said on Tuesday. The state government had floated a global tender for 40 million of vaccine doses earlier this month to fulfil its huge requirements.
Talking about the tender, Uttar Pradesh government's Additional Chief Secretary Navneet Sehgal said the pre-bid meeting for it will be held on Wednesday and all interest players can participate it.
However, the demand order will be issued for only those vaccines which would have obtained approval by the Government of India at the time of order, Sehgal said.
According to officials in the state government, besides Sputnik V, two international vaccine manufacturers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are expected to take part in this bid meeting.
Sputnik V, developed by Russia, is the only foreign-made vaccine that has been approved for emergency use by the Centre for production and use in India.
Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy's Labs is the marketing firm for the Sputnik V in the country and has also conducted local bridging studies. Whereas Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are yet to get approvals in India.
Moderna is yet to apply to the Indian government for approval.
Sehgal further said the vaccines will be given free to the public through state-run vaccination centres and the state government will make all necessary arrangements to ensure there is no budgetary constraint in procuring vaccines.
As per the bid document, the state government has suggested that bidders offering the vaccines should have their own cold chain transportation system or can enter into a contract with a transporting agent for the same.
Asked about the timeline for getting these vaccines, Sehgal said the state government's intent is to get as many as doses possible at the earliest.
However, other officials in the state government said the idea is to get all the 40 million doses of vaccines by the end of this year.