Will Again Float Global Tender for Covid-19 Vaccine Supply, Says Tamil Nadu Minister

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Tamil Nadu will take steps to again float a global tender for vaccine supply as no companies had bid for it, the period for which ended on June 5, Medical and Family welfare minister M Subramanian said here on Sunday. He said the state had so far received 1.45 crore Covid-19 vaccines and about 39 lakh additional doses are expected to be received by the end of this month.

The government, he told reporters, was in discussions with the Centre to reopen its plant at nearby Chengalpet to manufacture vaccines. He pointed out that global tenders floated by states like Kerala, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh had not received any response.

The state government had on May 15 floated a global tender to procure 3.5 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines to administer to those in the 18 to 44 years age group. The state sought a delivery schedule of 180 days progressively from the date of purchase order for 3.5 crore (35 million) vaccines for Rs 2,00,00,000 (20 million).

The Centre is providing vaccine doses to all states for vaccinating people above the age of 45 and the union government has said that states should go in for buying vaccines to inoculate those in the 18-45 age group. The minister warned that stringent action would be taken against private hospitals overcharging Covid-19 patients and said government had so reviewed 870 hospitals.

Earlier, he visited the Chemmantham tribal hamlet at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and said 3,000 of the total of 21,435 residing in MTR area had been vaccinated. The others are expected to be given the shots by the end of this month, he said.

Forest Minister K Ramachandran, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan and Nilgiris District Collector Innocent Divya accompanied him.

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