Haryana may receive 60mn Sputnik V doses from Malta-based company
The Haryana government on Saturday said that a pharmaceutical company in Malta has expressed interest in supplying the state up to 60 million doses of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. Pharma Regulatory Services Ltd. submitted an "expression of interest" to supply the vaccines on Saturday; a day after the state's global tender for procuring 10 million vaccine doses expired. Here are more details.
According to the Maltese company's offer, each Sputnik V dose will cost nearly Rs. 1,120, the Haryana government said in a statement Saturday. "The firm has further given a timeline of 30 days to supply the first batch of 5,00,000 doses, followed by 1 million doses every 20 days till supply is completed against a letter of credit issued in their name," it said.
The Haryana Medical Services Corporation (HMSCL) had floated a global tender on May 26 to procure COVID-19 vaccines, which closed on June 4, the state government said. "No bid was received during the tender period," the statement added. ACS (Health) Rajeev Arora said the Maltese company's offer is being "carefully" examined to see if it meets the criteria of the tender document.
Another pharmaceutical company, Bharat Serum and Vaccines Ltd., applied in the tender for supplying 15,000 injections of Amphotericin B to Haryana, The Indian Express reported. Amphotericin B is being used to treat fungal infections in patients such as mucormycosis ("black fungus"). Health Minister Anil Vij has said that the state was exploring modalities to award the tender to the single applicant who applied.
Haryana is notably the first Indian state to receive a positive response from an international firm for supplying COVID-19 vaccines. Several states are currently facing a shortage of vaccine doses, which has led to them restricting inoculations for the younger 18- to 44-year-old demographic. Delhi and Punjab have previously said that foreign vaccine manufacturers refused to sell vaccines to them.
Sputnik V is the third vaccine to be approved for use in India after Covishield and COVAXIN. It has been approved in over 65 countries. However, it is yet to receive a nod from the United States, the European Union, and the World Health Organization. Incidentally, US universities are asking Indian students to get re-vaccinated if they have received Sputnik V or COVAXIN.