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Watch: What's the Controversy Over Brazil's Covaxin Deal With Bharat Biotech?

A Brazilian health ministry official alleged that he had informed President Bolsonaro about the pressure he was facing to buy Covaxin despite certain red flags such as high prices and pending regulatory approvals.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is in a bind over alleged irregularities in the Covaxin deal with Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. There are allegations that the government struck a speedy agreement with Bharat Biotech when offers from Pfizer at a lower price were ignored at the time. However, in response to the allegations, Bolsonaro has said Brazil never paid for or received any doses of Covaxin developed by the Indian company.

A Brazilian health ministry official, Luis Ricardo Miranda, who appeared before a parliamentary panel on Friday, June 25, said that he had informed the president about the internal pressure he was facing to buy Covaxin despite certain red flags that he had raised over purchasing a tranche of doses.

Amid a probe into the allegations, Brazil’s health minister on Thursday, June 30, announced that the country will suspend a $324 million contract to buy 20 million doses of Covaxin.

The Wire explains the matter in this video.