India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh will spend up to $1 billion to buy COVID-19 shots and held early talks this week with companies such as Pfizer and the local distributor of Russia’s Sputnik V, a state official said on Thursday.
The move by Uttar Pradesh, home to more people than Brazil, comes as many Indian states curtail vaccinations due to severe shortages amid a record surge in coronavirus infections, with India recording more than 4,000 deaths for a second straight day as its health system fails to cope.
Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.
Uttar Pradesh has also held pre-bid talks with Indian vaccine companiesthe Serum Institute of India -- licensed to make the AstraZeneca and Novavax shots -- Bharat Biotech and Cadila Healthcare as part of a global tender to buy 40 million doses over the next few months, state spokesman Navneet Sehgal told Reuters.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
He said Johnson and Johnson could also confirm their participation in the tender by late Thursday via email. Sputnik V’s local distributor, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, has also held talks.
“Money is not an issue, we have a huge budget,” said Sehgal, a senior bureaucrat in the state of 240 million people. “We will spend up to 100 billion rupees ($1.36 billion).”
He however said funds would have to be diverted from other areas to buy the vaccines.
Covid-hit India welcomes Gulf medical aid, boosts oil imports from Saudi Aramco
India doctors warn of deadly rare fungal infection in COVID-19 patients
Egypt’s Eva Pharma to provide India with 300,000 doses of COVID-19 drug remdesivir
- More than 4,000 Indians die of COVID-19 for second straight day
- Russia records first cases of Indian COVID-19 variant: Reports
- Scientists race to study COVID-19 variants in India as cases explode
- India’s COVID-19 death toll passes 250,000: Official data
- India PM Modi not to attend G7 Summit in UK ‘in person’ due to COVID situation: Govt
- India’s seven-day COVID-19 average at new high, WHO issues warning on strain
- India doctors warn of deadly rare fungal infection in COVID-19 patients
- Egypt’s Eva Pharma to provide India with 300,000 doses of COVID-19 drug remdesivir
- Covid-hit India welcomes Gulf medical aid, boosts oil imports from Saudi Aramco