Telangana has joined the list of States that have floated global tenders to secure vaccines. Confirming the same, Minister KT Rama Rao tweeted, “The Cabinet has also decided to invite global tenders for procuring #Covid19 vaccine immediately.” Earlier, the Odisha government said that it would be floating a global tender to procure vaccines swiftly to protect people and bring back normalcy. Already, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh are in the list.
But global tenders are not ideal, many commentators are saying. There are several practical issues.
Columnist Karan Bhasin wrote, “To subject vaccine procurements to a tender process is not appropriate – as we are not purchasing a homogenous product.” He added that, besides price, availability, delivery schedule and logistical concerns have to be factored in while procuring vaccines. He advised, “The best approach is to reach out to vaccine manufacturers, draft a purchase agreement and simply just order them.”
However, Dr. SCL Gupta, former President of the Delhi Medical Association, among others, has said that global tenders are the way to go.