Brazil reports record COVID-19 death tally as Covaxin hits regulatory hurdle

FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker fills a syringe with a dose of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine called COVAXIN, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination campaign at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital in New Delhi, India, January 16, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) -Brazil on Tuesday reported 3,780 COVID-19 deaths, a new record, as the country’s health regulator refused to certify Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin coronavirus vaccine, saying it does not meet manufacturing standards.

Brazil currently accounts for about a quarter of COVID-19 deaths worldwide on any given day, more than any other country, and its vaccination efforts have been hampered by a lack of shots. President Jair Bolsonaro has been widely condemned for his handling of the pandemic. (Graphic:

The Brazilian government signed a contract last month to buy 20 million doses of Covaxin, which was developed in India. But on Tuesday, health regulator Anvisa said the shot did not meet its manufacturing standards.

Bharat Biotech had applied for emergency use of the vaccine in Brazil on March 8.

Bharat and its Brazilian partner Precisa Medicamentos said in a statement that they would appeal the decision and would present evidence that it is complying with all requirements.

Covaxin has been approved for use in five countries, including India, the statement said.

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