Coronavirus | Brazil President Bolsonaro dismisses allegations of irregularites in Covaxin deal

‘We didn't spend one cent on Covaxin. We didn't receive one ose of Covaxin. What sort of corruption is this?’ he asked.

June 25, 2021 08:52 am | Updated 08:53 am IST - BRASILIA

Demonstrators walk past a mural depicting the face of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a demonstration against the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Sao Paulo.

Demonstrators walk past a mural depicting the face of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a demonstration against the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Sao Paulo.

President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday, June 24, 2021, said Brazil never paid for or received any doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by Indian company Bharat Biotech, in response to allegations of irregularities in a deal that isunder investigation.

Federal prosecutors and a special Senate committee are investigating the deal for Bharat Biotech's Covaxin shot, citing the fact that the government struck a speedy agreement when offers from Pfizer in 2020 at a lower price were ignoredat the time.

Also read: Brazilian President invokes Ramayana while seeking hydroxychloroquine from India

"We didn't spend one cent on Covaxin. We didn't receive one ose of Covaxin. What sort of corruption is this?" Mr. Bolsonaro said.

The President pledged to take action if any corruption wasdiscovered in his government. Mr. Bolsonaro said the price for the Bharat vaccines was broadly in line with other countries.

He said the government's position has always been to only carry out purchases of vaccines after they are approved for use by federal health authority Anvisa.

Covaxin has yet to receive approval for public use, although it has received permission to conduct a phase 3 clinical trial via a Brazilian partner company.

On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, Bharat Biotech said in a statement that it had yet to provide vaccine supplies to Brazil and that it has beenc onsistent and transparent in its pricing with all governments.

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