If there's need to float global tender for COVID-19 vaccines, Centre should do it: Delhi health min

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Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain. (Photo/ANI)
Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], May 14 (ANI): Amid the worrying shortage of COVID-19 vaccines across the country, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Friday said if there is a need to float a global tender, it should be done by the Central government.

"Through a global tender, we can only procure Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V vaccines in the country. If there is a need for a global tender then it should be done by the Central government," Jain said.

Over the last few days, state governments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), among others, have spoken of floating global tenders amid the shortage of vaccine and rising COVID-19 cases.

The minister said if all states issued separate global tenders, vaccine companies would give different prices to each state based on negotiation and states will start competing with each other.

"The country has at least 30 companies that can manufacture enough for the whole country. The Centre is telling us that we have sent our country's vaccines abroad, now we have to buy vaccines from outside. This is very strange," he said.

Several inoculation centers across the country, including over 100 in the national capital, have been forced to close due to this shortage.

The health minister further urged the Centre to share the formula for Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine to other manufacturers.

"The Central government is a partner in Covaxin's manufacturing, so they can share the formula with others. The Centre should cap prices of all vaccines and it should not be more than Rs 150 per dose," he said.

A similar suggestion had been made by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday.

On Thursday, NITI Aayog member, Dr VK Paul had said informed that the Central government and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech are willing to invite other companies which want to produce COVAXIN in a bid to scale up the vaccine production.

Jain further informed that Delhi reported 10,489 positive cases with a positivity rate of 14.24 per cent in the last 24 hours.

"The highest positivity rate was 36 per cent in Delhi so now it is less than half of it. We're seeing a decline in trends from April 24. Highest cases were at 28,000 but we have come down to 10,000," he said. (ANI)