Odisha Govt to Float Global Tender for Vaccine Procurement

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to scale up mass vaccination drive, the Odisha Government has decided to float global tender for vaccine procurement.

The State Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, on Monday approved a proposal in this regard.

This will help Odisha cover vulnerable population thereby saving lives and restoring the livelihoods of people.

Vaccination is the key to protect citizens from future waves of COVID infections and save precious lives. Vaccines will be procured in the shortest possible time to bring back normalcy in the State. A technical team will be formed for the tender process.

The Cabinet also urged the Central Government to exempt vaccines from all tax liabilities to reduce burden on states’ finances and facilitate Odisha’s drive towards universal vaccination; requested for suitable sharing of various cess and surcharges at this juncture to augment states’ resources.

The Cabinet reiterated its determination to flight COVID-19 with all available resources and provide medical support to patients. It has given approvals to amendments in IPR 2015 to incentivise production of medical oxygen in the state and offer benefits to those manufacturing medical oxygen and its containers.

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting important measures to improve the process of vaccination across the country.

The Odisha CM demanded that the Covid-19 vaccines be made available outside the government supply chain in the open market so that citizens who can afford them can buy the shots on their own.

The vaccines, which have got approval internationally by credible agencies, should be cleared by the Indian government for use, he said.

Vaccine production units should be ramped up with the help of the Centre and state governments and India’s potential in manufacturing vaccines should be utilised to the maximum, the Chief Minister said, adding that the government should “run the extra mile” in extraordinary situations.

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