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Brazil suspends purchase of Covaxin vaccine due to scandal

Brazil's Ministry of Health has suspended the contract for India's coronavirus vaccine Covaxin amid a scandal in the country caused by possible procurement irregularities. This was reported by local television.

“The health minister is suspending the contract for the purchase of Covaxin,” the report said.

Earlier, Brazil's attorney general's office proposed to open an investigation over the purchase of India's Covaxin vaccine against the coronavirus, which may have been made at a greatly inflated price.

The Brazilian government signed a contract to purchase 20 million doses of the vaccine for a total of more than $320 million, with the price per dose agreed to be $15. However, a secret telegram from the Brazilian embassy in New Delhi noted that Bharat Biotech's drug was priced at about $1.34.

Opposition senators appealed to the Federal Supreme Court to allow an investigation against President Jair Bolsonaro over the purchase of the Indian vaccine.

At the end of June, 19 varieties of the coronavirus were reported in Brazil. At the time, it was noted that the Amazonian strain of P.1 coronavirus dominated the majority of cases — 89.9 percent. The British strain B.1.1.7 was in second place, accounting for 4.2 percent.

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