Karnataka receives two interests on global tenders for Covid vaccine

Bengaluru: Karnataka has received two interests on its global tenders on Covid-19 vaccines, which could ease up the current shortage, according to senior government officials
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Published on May 26, 2021 12:38 AM IST
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BySharan Poovanna

Bengaluru: Karnataka has received two interests on its global tenders on Covid-19 vaccines, which could ease up the current shortage, according to senior government officials.

KV Trilok Chandra, the health and family welfare commissioner, on Tuesday told HT that the two tender interests include Russia-developed Sputnik-V and Sputnik-Light.

On whether the quantity has been specified, Chandra said, “Not yet, that we will be further processing it.”

He said the tender processing will be completed in the “next couple of days”.

The state government had floated global tenders for vaccines as a measure to mitigate the growing demand for inoculation and to insulate the state from another bout of Covid-19 in the imminent third wave, expected by around the end of the year.

Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, deputy chief minister and head of Karnataka’s taskforce on Covid-19, in an interview to HT, said the state needed 65 million vaccine doses, adding that the government has so far placed orders for 30 million. He said the global tenders were floated after Pune-based Serum Institute of India and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech were taking longer than expected to deliver the orders placed by Karnataka. The state has placed orders for 20 million doses of Covishield and 10 million doses of Covaxin. The state has also floated global tenders for Remdesivir, a drug used to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients.

“By at least August, we should have completed at least a single dose for 25-30 million people. We can reach over 20 million by August and by December we can give everyone at least a single dose,” Narayan said.

Karnataka has so far administered 12,310,317 vaccine doses, of which only 2,636,589 persons have received both doses, a coverage of just around 4%, according to government data. Only 64,156 doses were administered in Karnataka till 3.30 pm on Tuesday, according to the daily bulletin of the state health department.

In Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) area, 2,395,207 doses have been administered, of which 559,008 persons have received both doses, according to data. Only 1,249 persons received the second dose in Bengaluru, data shows.

“On a continuing basis, we are receiving vaccines from the Government of India. And whatever we are purchasing, we are getting those as well,” Chandra said.

He added that for the 18-44 age group, slots will be opened up based on comfort levels. The vaccination in other districts, which have witnessed a surge in the past few days, has also been lower.

“Yesterday, we had indicated to the districts that the targeted population, with whatever stock they have they should complete it. So by tomorrow (Wednesday) there should be an uptick in those (daily vaccination numbers),” Chandra said.

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Monday, June 27, 2022