Amid ongoing probe over allegations of irregularities against President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil has decided to suspend a USD 324 million contract to buy 20 million doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin
Making the announcement, the head of the Federal Comptroller General (CGU) Wagner Rosario said that the agency would investigate the process of purchasing the vaccine.
“According to the preliminary analysis of the CGU, there are no irregularities in the contract but, for compliance, the health ministry chose to suspend the contract,” the ministry said in a statement
Brazilian federal prosecutors have opened an investigation, citing comparatively high prices of about $15 a dose, quick talks and pending regulatory approvals as red flags.
In a statement, Bharat Biotech said it had followed a “step-by-step” approach for the regulatory approval and supply contract of its vaccine in Brazil, and had not received advance payments from the health ministry.