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Paraguay cancels order for one million Covaxin doses citing quality issues: Reports

Bharat Biotech did not immediately react to the development, but company sources reportedly said that all export orders already stand cancelled as the production has been halted.

June 07, 2022 / 11:03 PM IST
File image of a vial of Covaxin vaccine

File image of a vial of Covaxin vaccine

Paraguay has cancelled the order for one million doses of Covaxin, the COVID-19 vaccine produced by India's Bharat Biotech, media reports said on June 7.

While an official statement was awaited, sources told Hindustan Times that the supply contract has been scrapped due to quality control issues.

The newspaper claimed that Paraguayan health minister Julio Borba, while speaking to a regional news channel last week, confirmed that the government will initiate the cancellation of Covaxin order.

“It is there (the agreement), but it is also in the process of closing. We had problems and we decided to close the contract with them, it is in the process of being closed," the report quoted him as saying.

Bharat Biotech was yet to react to the development by the time preliminary reports had emerged. The company sources, however, told Business Standard that all export orders already stand cancelled as the vaccine production has been halted.


COVID-19 Vaccine

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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"This is an old development, because Bharat Biotech stopped exports of Covaxin long back, and is now upgrading its manufacturing sites. Any orders therefore stand cancelled," a source told the publication, in response to the reports that blamed quality issues for the cancellation of order by the Paraguayan government.

Bharat Biotech had, on April 1, announced the temporary slowing down of production of Covaxin across its manufacturing facilities, noting that it has completed its supply obligations to procurement agencies and foresees a decrease in demand.

The vaccine maker had said that it would focus on the pending facility maintenance, process and facility optimisation activities for the coming period.

On April 2, a day after the company announced the slowing down of Covaxin production, the World Health Organisation said it was suspending the vaccine's supply through the UN procurement agencies.

"There will be interruption of supply of Covaxin due to suspension of production for export...Bharat has committed to comply by addressing the GMP deficiencies and is developing a corrective and preventive action plan, for submission to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) and WHO," the global health agency had said.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 7, 2022 11:03 pm
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