Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government postponed the opening of the price bid of the global tender floated to procure COVID-19 vaccines for the inoculation of the 18-44 age group. The price bid is now scheduled for June 23, two days after the Centre is expected to start supplying vaccines to the states. The state government shifted the date after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre will provide all the vaccines to the states on June 7. “The Centre is likely to start supply of vaccines to states from June 21,” an official said. The price bid was earlier scheduled for June 9.
The Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited (OSMCL) floated the global tender after an earlier central government’s directive to allow states to procure Covid vaccines from the manufacturers of their choice for the 18-44 age group. The directive was reversed by the Centre on June 7. The OSMCL has received two bids and was scheduled to open the price bid on Wednesday. A notification issued by the OSMCL said that the bid has been moved to June 23. “The state will take a call looking at the supply position of vaccines from the Centre for all age groups which it has announced,” the official said regarding the vaccine bidding.
The state government had floated the tender to procure 3.8 crore Covid vaccines for inoculating people between 18 and 44 years of age. But the international manufacturers had expressed unwillingness to supply vaccines to the states, following which many states requested the Centre to centralise vaccine procurement. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik thanked the Prime Minister after the announcement to centralise vaccine procurement.
The state vaccinated 1,40,640 people on Wednesday. The total number of vaccine doses given in the state is 87,44,175, of which 71,77,475 are first doses and 15,66,700 are second doses. The state now has inoculated about 8 lakh people in the 18-44 age group free of cost.
(With inputs from PTI)