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Brazilan Health Agency Cancels Covaxin Clinical Trials 

The board of the Brazilian Health Agency has suspended its import authorization for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. This move upsets the country’s vaccine rollout, which has been derailed by a Senate committee investigation into potential corruption in the process of procuring vaccines. The Brazilian Health Agency Anvisa said it planned to suspend the exceptional and temporary authorization for import and distribution after Bharat Biotech last week terminated an agreement with its local partner Precisa to represent it in Brazil. Bharat Biotech did not have any immediate comment.

It said the import permit, which was issued on June 4, would be suspended until the Brazilian Health Agency receives additional information about the vaccine, including technical and legal documents related to the shot. The Bharath biotech did not give any comment regarding this subject.

Based on an indicative price per dose of $15, Bharat’s contract to supply 20 million shots to the Brazilian government would be valued at $300 million. Bharat Biotech terminated a memorandum of understanding to sell its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin via a partnership with Precisa in Brazil last week.Brazil’s health minister Marcelo Queiroga announced on June 29 that the country would suspend a $324 million contract to buy 20 million doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

The announcement comes amid a probe into allegations of irregularities in the procurement of the vaccine that are entangling president Jair Bolsonaro, though the health ministry has said in a statement that an initial analysis doesn’t show irregularities in the contract. Once new partnerships and other modalities are worked out to get a new base in Brazil, Bharat Biotech intends to kick start the process again.

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