Sputnik V offered to Karnataka in global tender by two suppliers

The suppliers, however, are yet to quote the price for the vaccine

Updated - May 25, 2021 11:13 pm IST

Published - May 25, 2021 10:50 pm IST - Bengaluru

Healthworkers collecting vaccine boxes from Dasappa hospital in Bengaluru on Tuesday.   SUDHAKARA JAIN

Healthworkers collecting vaccine boxes from Dasappa hospital in Bengaluru on Tuesday. SUDHAKARA JAIN

The response to Karnataka’s global tender to procure vaccine for COVID-19 has come for the supply of Russian made Sputnik V. The two responses have not come from the vaccine manufacturer, but from companies that are acting as suppliers of the Russian vaccine.

While the Mumbai-based Bulk MRO Industrial Supply, a U.S. government-registered vendor, has offered to start supply of the first batch of Sputnik V within two weeks of receiving the order, the second vendor, Bengaluru-based Thulasi Systems, has offered to start supply in 30 days.

Two days’ time

Both, however, have sought two days’ time for making the financial bid, said sources in the government with knowledge of the tendering process. The Karnataka government’s deadline for global tender to procure two crore vaccine doses ended on Monday and details of the tender participation emerged on Tuesday. Besides looking to procure vaccines in the international market, the State has also placed orders for two crore Covishield vaccines from Serum Institute and one crore Covaxin vaccines from Bharat Biotech.

“After the financial bid and documents are received in the next two days, they will be scrutinised. Negotiations will have to happen with the two companies only after that. The decision on procurement of vaccines will be ultimately taken by the government,” said a source.

Initially, the government had decided to break the tender into four parts for 50 lakh doses each for better negotiation of price, but later went for one tender. The negotiation for the quote would depend on the number of participants, sources said.

Sputnik V is the third vaccine in the country to receive regulatory approvals for use after Covishield and Covaxin. Currently, Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy’s Laboratory has tied up with Russian Direct Investment Fund for the Sputnik production in the country.

Karnataka is among the many States that have floated global tender to procure vaccines, and so far, the States have not yet been able to firm up procurement.

Sources said both companies are yet to submit certain documents that had been asked as part of the tender process and for mandatory verification. They have assured to submit the same in two days, sources said. Both suppliers, sources said, have claimed to have permission from Russia to import and supply the vaccine in India.

“Scrutinising the document is the first challenge now and later to accept the financial bid. The companies have also not indicated the size of the batches that will be supplied,” said a government source.

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