The Brazilian Health Ministry unilaterally canceled its contract with Indian lab Bharat Biotech for the purchase of 20 million jabs of the Covaxin vaccine. Worth USD 300 million, the deal was riddled with corruption allegations — and Covaxin failed to obtain regulatory approval in Brazil.
The Senate’s Covid hearings committee, investigating the government’s pandemic response, lifted the lid on allegations of irregularities in the Covaxin deal. Congressman Luís Miranda and his brother, a senior Health Ministry official, complained they were put under “abnormal pressure” from Congressman Ricardo Barros, the government’s House whip, to sign off on the vaccine purchase.
On August 26, the inquiry got courts to strike down an injunction classifying the Health Ministry’s administrative procedure to acquire the Indian-made vaccine.