© UNICEF/HQ06-2627/ Tom Pietrasik
INDIA: Bottles of polio vaccine sit on the table in a doctor's office on the first day of the polio immunization campaign, or "Booth Day", in Pakbara Town in Uttar Pradesh.

UNICEF procured an average of 2 billion doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) annually for supplementary activities during the last five years either through regular programme or through procurement service. The supply of polio vaccines requires major international tendering of all WHO pre-qualified suppliers of OPV. The process ensures adequate vaccine supply with competitive price. UNICEF also supported the delivery of other services such as Vitamin A, Insecticide treated nets (ITN) with polio supplementary activities. UNICEF participated in developing strategy and mechanism of stockpile of polio vaccines in the post-eradication era.

On behalf of GPEI partners UNICEF Supply Division plans to establish supply arrangements for Polio Stockpile vaccines. The Request for Commercial Indication (RCI) was issued to all six manufacturers of WHO pre-qualified OPV in December 2006, outlining preliminary Stockpile requirements and responses had been received from four manufacturers/consortiums by March 2007. Individual manufacturer stockpile meetings have been held with all four manufacturers/consortiums during spring/summer 2007.

The preliminary outcome of the RCI process showed that all four manufacturers/consortiums were interested to participate in the Stockpile, although their responses are non-binding. Further technical constraints were identified, leading to an adjustment of the technical Stockpile requirements for an upcoming tender. UNICEF Supply Division expects to conclude the ongoing Stockpile Request for Commercial Indication during first quarter of 2008, and to issue a tender for the Polio Stockpile contracts, in December 2008, at the earliest.



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