Czech Republic vaccine supplier opts out of BMC tender race

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Mumbai, May 28 (PTI) A vaccine supplier from Czech Republic, which had submitted bid to supply Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots to the Mumbai civic body, has withdrawn its proposal, leaving seven firms in the fray as of now, BMC officials said on Friday.

On May 12, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) floated a global expression of interest (EOI) to procure one crore COVID-19 vaccine doses from the open market.

Earlier this week, the BMC extended the deadline for submitting bids till June 1 (from May 25 earlier) though it had received positive response from eight firms for supplying COVID-19 vaccines, one of them from Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic-based vaccine supplier, through an email, informed the BMC about the withdrawal of its proposal on Wednesday, the officials said.

Therefore, only seven suppliers offering Russia-made Sputnik V (double dose) and Sputnik Light (single shot) vaccines are in the race, they said.

'The (Czech Republic) supplier has taken back its proposal,' confirmed P Velarasu, additional municipal commissioner.

Earlier this week, municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal had informed mediapersons that the BMC had received eight bids so far in response to its EOI for procurement of 1 crore vaccine doses.

'One bid is for Pfizer/AstraZeneca and the remaining 7 bids are for Sputnik,' he had said, adding the EOI deadline has been extended by one week to enable other bidders to submit all relevant documents in support of their proposals.

Chahal had not named the bidders.

According to the BMC, a total of 30,90,130 citizens in Mumbai have been administered COVID-19 vaccines since the inoculation drive started on January 16.

So far, 23,47,157 people have been administered the first dose, while 7,42,973 have received both the doses, the civic body said.

The BMC said a total of 41,130 people were inoculated on Thursday and 2,283 of them took the second dose of the vaccine.

Presently, Mumbai has 331 active inoculation centres that include 235 run by the BMC, 20 by the Maharashtra government and 76 by private hospitals.

As many as 55,910 people can be vaccinated in these centres per day. PTI KK RSY RSY

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