Brazil : Report claims – Bolsonaro govt asked for bribe for per dose of AstraZeneca
After the corruption scandal surrounding Covaxin, India’s homegrown Covid-19 vaccine, media reports in Brazil now suggest that there could be irregularities in the procurement of the AstraZeneca vaccine as well.
According to Folha de S Paulo newspaper, the Bolsonaro government in Brazil asked for a bribe per dose of the AztraZeneca vaccine. The paper claims the Director of the Ministry of Health, Roberto Ferreira Dias, appointed by Ricardo Barros, would have asked for US$ 1 per dose of AstraZeneca. However, an official statement by AstraZeneca clarified that the company was not dealing with any “private” players in Brazil’s pharmaceutical sector for such allegations to be authentic.
“AstraZeneca does not currently make the vaccine available via the private market or work with any intermediaries in Brazil. All agreements are directly via Fiocruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation) and the Federal Government,” Fiona Cookson, Director, Global Media Relations, AstraZeneca said.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired a health official on Wednesday after he reportedly asked for a bribe in a coronavirus vaccine deal, the latest graft accusation to rock the government and spark fresh calls for the president’s impeachment. The scandal has triggered fresh calls for impeachment against Bolsonaro, a divisive right-winger, who has underplayed the severity of the pandemic, railed against lockdowns, pushed unproven remedies and sowed vaccine doubts.