Tamil Nadu

‘Vaccine vendors paid in advance’

The State government on Thursday told the Madras High Court that the Centre had allotted 10.3 lakh COVID-19 vaccines to Tamil Nadu for the universal adult inoculation drive and instructed it to purchase the vaccines only from two private vendors. The vendors, in turn, insisted on payment of 100% advance amount.

The government paid the entire money on Tuesday and is awaiting the supplies to commence vaccination for those above 18 years of age.

Appearing before the first Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy through virtual mode, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said there were certain limitations in procuring the vaccines since the Centre was deciding the allocation, and stated that Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Managing Director P. Umanath would explain the issue in detail to the court since he was the purchase officer for the vaccines.

New policy

Mr. Umanath said the Centre had been supplying vaccines free of cost to all States for inoculating those above 45 years of age.

However, now the Centre had come up with a new policy for vaccinating those between 18 to 45 years of age and made it the responsibility of the State governments to get them vaccinated. The Centre had determined the allocation of vaccines for each State, and ordered that they should be procured from two vendors.

“In the first allotment, Tamil Nadu has been allotted 7.65 lakh vaccines from one vendor and 2.65 lakh from the other vendor. Since the vendors wanted 100% advance amount for the purchase, we have paid them the total cost for 10.3 lakh vaccines as per the Government of India’s instructions and we are waiting for supply of vaccines from these two vendors. Once the vaccines arrive, we will commence vaccination for the 18 to 45 age group,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 7:39:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/vaccine-vendors-paid-in-advance/article34502682.ece

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