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TN government to take a call on Chinese vaccine later

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on May 17, 2021

The State has issued a global tender for 3.5 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines

Tamil Nadu has issued a global tender for 3.5 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines. However, unlike Maharashtra, it has not specifically excluded Chinese companies from bidding.

Will TN then allow Chinese vaccine to be used? It is too early to say, if senior State government officials are to be believed. A senior official told BusinessLine that a decision to allow Chinese vaccine will be taken at the time of opening of bids.

Specific clause

The tender, issued by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has a clause that specifically bars countries sharing land borders with India. This means vaccines from China are ruled out.

But Tamil Nadu government’s global tender has no such clause. It just stipulates that under option A the bidder’s vaccine should be approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and licensed for use in India by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on the day of bidding.

Under option B, the vaccines to be purchased must be approved by WHO but not approved by DCGI on the day of bidding. Option B would be purchased subject to issue of licence / approval by DCGI, the tender documents says.

 

 

Chinese Sinopharm vaccine has been approved by WHO and thus qualifies for bidding. Political parties are already diving into the issue.

BJP against move

State BJP is against the use of Chinese vaccines. SR Sekhar, Treasurer, Tamil Nadu BJP, in a tweet said: “As Government of India is so cautious on Chinese Investments and their goods, Tamil Nadu government should follow the footsteps of the Central Government. Sinopharm has a low level of efficacy of 78 per cent compared to other vaccines prescribed by ICMR.”

 

 

The State government should convene a meeting with pharmaceutical companies of the State and find a viable solution to procure vaccines locally rather than going globally. At any cost, TN shouldn’t accept the Chinese tender, which is against our national security, he said in another tweet. Other parties have not stated their views yet.

TN government decided to import the vaccines due to the shortage even as the number of coronavirus cases have been going up steadily.

 

Published on May 17, 2021

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