Brazil will suspend a $324 million Indian vaccine contract that has mired President Jair Bolsonaro in accusations of irregularities, the health minister said on Tuesday, following the guidance of the federal comptroller, the CGU.
The deal to buy 20 million doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin shot has become a headache for Bolsonaro after whistleblowers went public with concerns over irregularities. One Health Ministry official said he personally alerted the president about his concerns.
Brazil’s Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said at a news conference his team would probe the allegations while the suspension was ongoing.
“According to the preliminary analysis of the CGU, there are no irregularities in the contract but, for compliance, the Health Ministry chose to suspend the contract for a more in-depth analysis,” the ministry said in a statement.
Earlier on Thursday, Reuters reported a CNN Brasil report that the ministry had decided to cancel the contract.