The Odisha government on Tuesday once again relaxed certain terms and conditions in the global e-tender it has floated for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The move came close on the heels of State health minister Naba Das’ letter to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan highlighting poor responses of suppliers to the global tender.
As per the revised norms in the tender documents, manufacturers or their importers approved by USFDA, EMA, MHRA-UK or PMDA-Japan or listed by WHO for emergency use are now eligible to bid.
“Manufacturer or their authorised importers of COVID-19 vaccine approved by USFDA (The United States Food and Drug Administration ) or EMA (The European Medicines Agency ) or MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency , UK) or PMDA (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency ,Japan) or listed by WHO (World Health Organisation ) for emergency use - are eligible to bid for which the supporting documents must be submitted,” the Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited said in an order.
“Purchase orders will be placed to such qualified bidders subject to approval of DCGI (Drugs Controller General of India),” it added.
In the letter written earlier in the day, health minister Naba Das said there has been limited response to the tender as observed during the pre-bidding stage. Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have not participated in the pre-bidding meeting.
The health minister wanted the Centre to purchase vaccines from global makers. “It might be faster and economical if the procurement of global vaccines are made at the country-level rather than by individual States,” he wrote.
On May 15, the Odisha government floated a global e-tender for procurement of 3.8 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines from leading manufacturers across the world.
On May 21, the Odisha Cabinet amended tender documents and the terms and conditions to attract more bidders.
As per the modifications, the storage condition has been revised up to minus 20 degree Celsius subject to condition that the vaccines will remain stable and maintain its potency at 2 degree Celsius to 8 degree Celsius for at least 12 hours.