Global tender for vaccines fails to evoke any response

Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited (KMSCL), procurement agency of the State government, on Friday informed a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court that the global tender floated for procuring COVID vaccines directly from the international market had failed to evoke any response.

When the case relating to vaccination issues came up for hearing before the Bench consisting of Justice Anil K. Narendran and Justice Ziyad Rahman A.A., M. Ajay, counsel for the Corporation, submitted that the Corporation’s efforts to get vaccines from international manufacturers had fallen flat.

In fact, earlier the tender had been invited from manufacturers in the country but it had been expanded to include global manufacturers from the U.S., European Union and other countries. However, the response from vaccine manufactures was zero.

The Corporation now had to depend on the Centre to get the vaccines supplied from global manufactueres for the State. The Centre was in negotiations with the global suppliers.

V. Manu, Senior Government Pleader, informed the court that inclusion of menial workers collecting waste from households and other residential complexes in the category of front-line workers was under the consideration of the government. He pointed out that the average daily vaccination in the State was around 1.5 lakh doses which could go up to 2.5 lakh doses, subject to the availability of sufficient quantity of vaccines.

The court asked him to inform the court about the government’s stand on starting spot registration as the public, especially senior citizens, were facing difficulties in securing a slot for vaccination on the online portal.

The Central government counsel said the modalities for supply of vaccine as per the revised guidelines, which will come into force from June 21, were in the works.

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