Brazil suspends Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin order over graft allegations

Hyderabad: The Brazilian government, which had earlier agreed to purchase 20 million doses of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, on Wednesday announced the suspension of the contract following allegations of irregularities in the deal.

“By recommendation of @CGUonline, we decided to temporarily suspend the Covaxin contract. According to CGU’s preliminary analysis, there are no irregularities in the contract, but, due to compliance, the @minsaude opted to suspend the contract for further analysis,” Brazil Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said in a tweet.



The Covaxin contract to Brazil landed in controversy after the South American country’s Attorney General reportedly launched a probe into the deal.
“It is noteworthy that the @govbr did not pay ANY CENT for the Covaxin vaccine.

The measure does not compromise the pace of the vaccination campaign against #Covid19 in Brazil, since there is no approval from Anvisa for emergency or definitive use of the immunizing agent,” Queiroga said in another tweet.

On its part, Bharat Biotech said that the pricing of COVAXIN has been clearly established between USD 15-20 per dose for supplies to Governments outside India. 

“The pricing for Brazil has also been indicated at USD 5 per dose,” the Hyderabad-based firm said.

“In the case of procurement of COVAXIN by Brazil, a step-by-step approach followed towards contracts, and regulatory approvals, during the 8-month-long process. EUA received on 4 June 2021. As of Jun 29, we haven’t received any advance payments nor supplied vaccines to Brazil, the Bharat Biotech said.

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