Amid alarms of the third covid wave, the Mumbai civic body on Friday rejected all bids and its global expression of interest (EoI) closed without any success as none of the nine bidders for supplying vaccines to the city were able to establish any direct connection with manufacturers.
As reported by the Times of India, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials stated that they rejected all proposals for the supply of one-crore vaccine doses. The suppliers could not submit the required documents, especially to establish any direct connection with manufacturers, a senior official said. As of June 4, all nine bidders have been disqualified, he added.
In an official statement, BMC stated that it held talks with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratory which has distribution rights for the Russian Sputnik vaccine in India. Reportedly, the company has agreed to supply it on an “experimental basis” to the BMC by June end.
“More discussions to procure a large stockpile of Sputnik vaccine are being carried out. This process will go on for the next eight to 10 days,” a senior civic official told TOI. Since the cold storage facility of Sputnik is different from that of Covaxin and Covishield, BMC will first procure a small quantity of doses on an experimental basis. Later, a large stockpile may be bought, the official added.
The BMC had received 10 bids- One bidder who had offered to supply Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines backed out. Meanwhile of the nine bidders, seven had offered to give the BMC Sputnik V, one Sputnik Light and one said the company will supply any approved vaccine that becomes available.
Earlier in May, BMC stated that it had received bids for the supply of Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines in response to its global tender for one crore doses. BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal had said they received eight bids, of which one was for Pfizer/AstraZeneca vaccines, and the remaining for Sputnik V.
“We have received 8 bids in response to BMC Global Expression of Interest for procurement of 1 crore vaccine doses till date. One bid is for Pfizer/AstraZeneca & remaining 7 bids are for Sputnik,” ANI tweeted quoting Chahal.
However, it is necessary for the bidders to have their own cold chain for vaccine transport and delivery or to show a valid contract with an agent that has facilities to transport the vaccines to the storage facility, hospitals, or vaccination centres. Just like other cities, Mumbai was also forced to shut down many vaccination centres because of a shortage of jabs, especially for the 18-44 age group.