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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

News Highlights

  • Odisha will be able to procure vaccines following a successful bidding process only after May 28

  • OSMC has invited online global bids through an e-Tender portal for supplying 3.80 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine

  • Successful bidders will be provided with online tracking facility for knowing goods delivery status at the consignee location 

Bhubaneswar: To fight the unprecedented second round surge of Covid-19, the Odisha Government has announced free vaccination of 18-44 years age group category in the State.

 However, the unavailability of vaccines has emerged as a major impediment in this direction and the drive has been confined to only five major cities in the State.

The Center has been providing vaccines to the State for people above 45 years age group. But the inoculation drive for the younger group is moving at a snail’s pace in the State due to short supply of vaccines.

In a bid to ramp up the vaccination drive against the coronavirus, the Odisha Government has floated a global e-tender for the supply of required Covid-19 vaccines to the State.

“The Odisha State Medical Corporation (OSMC) has invited online global bids through an e-Tender portal for supplying 3.80 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine from manufacturers for the inoculation of around two crore citizens", informed Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra.

“Only Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) approved vaccine production companies will be allowed to take part in the bidding process which will start from 11am on May 20 and continue till May 28,” said Mohapatra adding that successful bidders will be provided with online tracking facility for knowing goods delivery status at the consignee location and progress on payment.

However, Odisha will be able to procure vaccines following a successful bidding process only after May 28. But so far DGCI has approved only three companies and many other states have also invited global tenders. In this scenario there is a question mark over the number of companies participating in the bidding process and the amount of supply of vaccines.

However, health experts are optimistic that a clear picture will come out within few days.

“Hopefully, the DGCI will approve few more companies to take part in the bidding process and Odisha will get its target doses of vaccines,” said health expert Dr Ashutosh Mohapatra.

Meanwhile, the Centre has cleared air about its decision to increase the gap between both doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks from the earlier norm of 6-8 weeks.

“The move is being criticised. But it’s based on the recommendations of the experts in the field and not because of short supply of vaccines,” clarified NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul.

“The Union Health Ministry is working with Bharat Biotech to ramp up the production of Covid-19 vaccines. Hopefully, the production could be augmented to 10-13 crores of doses by August,” said Paul.

Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting today on the Covid-19 related situation and vaccination status in the country.

Emphasising the need for localised containment strategies, the Prime Minister said healthcare resources should be utilised to focus on door to door testing in rural areas. He also harped on augmenting health care capabilities in rural areas and ramping up the pace of vaccination.

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