The Andhra Pradesh government will float a global tender in a day or two for procurement of Covid-19 vaccines from foreign manufacturers to complete the vaccination process as quickly as possible.
The state has identified 2.04 crore people in the 18- 45 age group for whom the Covid-19 vaccine has to be administered.
While a portion of the 4.08 crore doses required for these people is expected to come from local vaccine producers, the state is getting ready to buy a sufficient number of doses for at least one crore people, officials said.
“We are exploring the option of buying the vaccine from any foreign manufacturer since there is a short supply of Covishield and Covaxin. We have already placed an order for purchase of Sputnik V vaccine but Dr Reddys Laboratories, the local manufacturer, said it will give clarity on supplies only after May 15 after assessing the production capacity,” Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal said.
“The vaccines being produced in foreign countries…if there is scope for supply in India…we decided to explore that. We will notify the global tender and wait for response. We will make a very serious attempt and see if there is a possibility,” he said.
Anil Kumar Singhal said the government was seeking to create confidence among people that it was ready to purchase vaccines wherever it was available.
The foreign vaccine manufacturer has to secure the required regulatory and statutory approvals (from the Government of India).
“Without that we cant administer the vaccine,” the Principal Secretary noted.
AP Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das wrote to the Union Health Secretary asking the Centre to elaborate a schedule for vaccination.
“Our priority is to first complete vaccination of 45- plus people. Those above 45, along with healthcare workers and frontline workers…there are about 1.48 crore people in the state for whom roughly three crore doses will be required. This is a category purely managed by the Government of India,” Singhal pointed out.
The AP government requested the Centre to communicate how and when, in which fortnight, it would be supplying these doses.
“Unless and until the GoI communicates its action plan, and schedule of delivery of these three crore doses, there is no way we can plan a full-fledged action plan as to when we will vaccinate. The Centre may be having its own constraints that we are not aware of. If we get clarity from them, we may plan (the vaccination programme) accordingly,” Singhal added.
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