India Covid vaccine shortage: States float global tenders to procure jabs
Local manufacturers unable to cater to soaring demands due to rising cases.
At least 10 Indian states, battling the Covid-19 pandemic, have floated global tenders to buy vaccines from manufacturers for vaccinating those in the 18-44 group.
The Indian government has allowed states to buy vaccines internationally for vaccinating those in the 18-44 group. Those 45 and above and frontline workers will get vaccines that the central government will supply to the states.
The state governments of Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Telangana decided on Tuesday to float global tenders to buy vaccines. Earlier, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha had also announced their import plans.
The two Indian manufacturers of the vaccines, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech are unable to cater to the soaring demands for vaccines for all.
They are expected to produce about 85 million doses in May and June. The central government will get half, the states about 20 million and the remaining will be for private hospitals.
The Karnataka government, for instance, placed orders for 30 million vaccines on the two companies, but the demand is huge. On Tuesday, it decided to launch a short-term global tender for 20 million doses of the vaccine.
The two private companies are expected to raise their production in July when Serum will increase its capacity to 100 million doses and Bharat Biotech hopes to 55 million doses a month.
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