Maharashtra Health Minister assures 'thorough probe' into hospital oxygen leak that killed 22

MUMBAI: Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said marketing agencies of four vaccine firms have responded to states global tender for procuring COVID-19 shots, but information provided by them is inadequate and the government has sought more details.

The Maharashtra government has floated a global tender to procure COVID-19 vaccines to tide over a shortage of jabs.

Speaking to reporters here, Tope said “Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik and AstraZeneca have submitted their tenders through their marketing agencies.

“Some companies did not fill in the rates, while some companies have not made clear what the (supply) schedule will be like. That is why they are being asked queries (on these issues).”

Pfizer has told some states like Punjab that they won’t supply vaccines to the states but will give them to the Centre.

On the issue of imports, the Centre has so far allowed only Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik.

Will the Centre give permission to Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson is an issue which is under the Centre’s jurisdiction.

Tope reiterated his demand for the Union government’s intervention to buy vaccines from the international market.

“There should be a proper national policy on vaccine imports. I wish to make this request to (Union health minister) Harsh Vardhan,” he said.

Responding to a question, Tope listed out varying rate details provided by some of the marketing agencies. Sputniks rates are quoted in the range of USD 10 and USD 18. Pfizer rates are quoted between USD 23 and 25. In terms of rupees, the price range is from Rs 750 to Rs 1,800,” he said.