Karnataka govt to call fresh bids for Sputnik after rejecting two, Health News, ET HealthWorld

While Apollo Group of Hospitals has announced that it will start administering Sputnik V from next week in Mysuru, government centres are unlikely to offer the Russian vaccine anytime soon.

Deputy chief minister CN Ashwath Narayan said on Saturday that the state government had rejected the bids of two companies that quoted exorbitant rates.

“We have decided to call for fresh global bids with some new conditions,” he said.

The government had floated the previous tender on May 14, seeking 2 crore doses in four installments of 50 lakh each, to boost the inoculation drive that has been hit by a severe shortage of vaccines. It set aside Rs 843 crore for this purpose.

A firm in Mumbai and another in Bengaluru responded to the order query, offering to supply Sputnik V vaccine within a month after procuring it from Hyderabad-based pharma company Dr Reddy’s. Officials, who handled the tender, said that they rejected the bids and decided to wait after Dr Reddy’s clarified that it held the sole distribution rights of the first 250 million doses of Sputnik and had no partnership or collaboration with any other entity to supply the vaccine.

The private sector is providing some hope. “Apollo Hospitals will start administering Sputnik V vaccine from the second week of June, with an aim to vaccinate 1 lakh people every day initially and double that in July. It is planning to complete 2 crore jabs by September 2021 across all its hospitals in the country,” health minister K Sudhakar tweeted.

In Mysuru, Sputnik V will be offered to local residents at select hospitals from next week. The vaccine is being given in Bengaluru by Apollo.

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