Brazilian prosecutors have opened an investigation into a contract worth $ 320 million contract for 20 million doses of Covaxin vaccine made by India’s Bharat Biotech. Reuters agency reports.
The prosecutors believe that the price is too high, talks were too fast, and COVID-19 vaccine offers from Pfizer Inc at a lower price were deliberately ignored.
Brazilian Senate is also looking into a contract with Bharat. The mediator in the conclusion of the contract, the head of Precisa Medicamentos, has already made a statement. In the statement, the company said its talks with the Health Ministry were transparent and the price of the vaccine was the same as in other countries.
Moreover, senator Randolfe Rodrigues filed a formal criminal complaint at the Supreme Court against Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro for his role in the COVID-19 vaccine deal.
Citing a Health Ministry whistleblower, the official pointed out that the president “did not take any action after being notified of the existence of a giant corruption scheme in the Health Ministry”.
Against the backdrop of a new possible scandal, president Bolsonaro is losing his popularity on the eve of next year’s elections. The head of state, a COVID-19 sceptic who dismissed the virus as “a little flu” earlier in the pandemic. More than 500,000 people have now died from COVID-19 in Brazil.