New Delhi: After the Brazilian government announced temporary suspension of its 20 million dose COVID-19 vaccine contract with Bharat Biotech following allegations of irregularities in the deal, the hydrabad-based drug maker said it had followed a ‘step-by-step’ approach towards contracts and regulatory approvals with the country. “In the specific case of procurement of Covaxin by the Ministry of Health, Brazil, since the first meetings during Nov 2020 until June 29, a step-by-step approach has been followed towards contracts, and regulatory approvals, during this eight-month-long process,” Bharat Biotech said in a statement.Also Read - SII's Covovax Gets DCGI's Nod for Emergency Use in Children Aged 7-11 Years

“EUA received on June 4. As of June 29, Bharat Biotech has not received any advance payments nor supplied any vaccines to MOH Brazil. Bharat Biotech has followed a similar approach towards contracts, regulatory approvals and supplies in several countries worldwide, where Covaxin is being supplied successfully,” added the vaccine maker. Also Read - India Being Used As Potential 'Back Door' Into Europe For Russian Oil, Suggests Report

Furthermore, it asserted that the reports in media over the past few weeks had “misrepresented” the procurement process of Covaxin in Brazil and other countries. “The procurement process for COVID-19 vaccines and several vaccines for routine immunization follow a common process which is widely accepted, and established in Industry,” said Bharat Biotech. Also Read - As Corona Cases Surge, Govt Advisory Body Recommends Reducing Gap Between Second & Precaution Dose of COVID Vaccine

On February 26, Bharat Biotech Ltd had said it entered into an agreement with the Brazilian government for the supply of 20 million doses of Covaxin during the second and third quarters of 2021. Earlier, the National Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil- Anvisa, had denied permission to import Covaxin under Emergency Use Authorisation after authorities found that the Indian plant in which the jab was being made did not meet the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements.

However, Anvisa on June 5 gave clearance to the proposal to import Covaxin into the South American country, with some conditions. TheEmergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for Covaxin was granted by Brazil on June 4.