Brazil has banned the distribution of millions of Chinese Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines as the plant in which they were made is not authorised by the Latin American country's health regulator.
In a statement on Saturday, ANVISA, a regulatory body of the Brazilian government, said it has "determined the precautionary interdiction of batches of CoronaVac vaccine, prohibiting the distribution and use of batches in the plant not approved by the Authorization for Emergency Use (AUE)."
The ban came after 12.13 million CoronaVac doses already entered the country in 25 batches. Another 17 batches containing a total of 9 million doses of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine are being prepared for shipment.
Brazil's Butantan Institute, a biomedical centre that has partnered with China's Sinovac Biotech to locally finish the vaccines, alerted Anvisa on Friday about the doses, but neither disclosed the location of the plant.
Anvisa said it would seek to inspect the plant during the 90-day ban.Butantan said 9 million more doses made at the same plant were on their way to Brazil. Several cities in Brazil have begun providing vaccine booster shots even though most citizens have yet to receive their second jabs.
(With inputs from ANI)