Private Brazilian clinics to buy COVID-19 vaccine from India's Bharat

SAO PAULO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Private Brazilian clinics plan to buy 5 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by India’s Bharat Biotech, their association said on Monday in a statement.

Bharat Biotech has not yet applied for approval by Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa for its Covaxin vaccine.

Geraldo Barbosa, head of the Brazilian Association of Vaccine Clinics (ABCVAC) who will lead a delegation to India departing on Monday, said a memorandum of understanding has already been signed with Bharat Biotech.

“This should be the first vaccine available on the private market in Brazil,” he said.

The plan is for the 5 million doses of Covaxin to arrive in Brazil in mid-March, to be sold by private clinics.

Anvisa said in a statement on Sunday that Covaxin does not fit the continuous data submission process for vaccine registration and the vaccine would have to undergo clinical trial in Brazil.

Bharat Biotech is a pharmaceutical company based in Hyderabad in southern India that produces millions of doses of vaccines for hepatitis, Zika, Japanese encephalitis and others illnesses.

In November, Bharat Biotech executives visited Brazil and offered the vaccine and a possible technology transfer partnership.

Covaxin is a whole-virion inactivated vaccine that could be licensed by the second quarter of 2021 in India, an executive told Reuters.

Reporting by Eduardo Simoes and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Bernadette Baum