India's indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech might soon find a buyer in Brazil. A Brazilian association of private health clinics said on January 3 that it is negotiating with Bharat Biotech to obtain five million doses of its Covaxin.
The Brazilian Association of Vaccine Clinics (ABCVAC) confirmed on its website it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian firm to purchase its vaccine, which is currently in the final stage of clinical trials.
ABCVAC's described its deal with Bharat Biotech as a way to ensure that Brazilians using the private health system, especially the affluent, would have access to a vaccine even as the government reserves its own initial doses for the public health system and high-priority groups such as health workers and the elderly.
"We had been looking for solutions for the private market, and the possibility came up of using this Indian vaccine, which is very promising," ABCVAC president Geraldo Barbosa told TV network Globo News.
Any final deal would be subject to approval by Brazil's health regulator, Anvisa, which is yet to approve any vaccines against the new coronavirus.
Brazil has the second highest death toll after the US. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has faced severe criticism for struggling to get the country's vaccination campaign off the ground.
The Brazilian president has repeatedly said Brazilians will not be required to be vaccinated even after coronavirus vaccine becomes widely available. In October, he joked on Twitter that vaccination would be required only for his dog.
Brazil's health ministry is due to announce the start date for its vaccination campaign on Monday.