Coronavirus live news: Germany backs limits on EU vaccine exports; South African president decries 'vaccine nationalism'

German health minister says EU must ensure its fair share amid production delays; Ramaphosa calls on rich countries to stop hoarding jabs

11.15am GMT

Italy’s state agency Invitalia has said it would invest 81 million euros in local biotech company ReiThera to support the development of its Covid vaccine, as frustration with the multinational pharmaceutical companies deepens, Reuters reports.

Most of the money is slated for research and development while around 12 million will be used to expand the ReiThera vaccine production site, close to Rome.

ReiThera is developing the vaccine with Germany’s Leukocare and Belgium’s Univercells and started talks with the European Union in September about supplying the bloc with doses. The initial trial gave encouraging results.

10.58am GMT

Latvia’s foreign affairs minister has said that European Union member states could sue UK-based drug maker AstraZeneca for breach of contract if it fails to honour its Covid-19 vaccine delivery schedule.

AstraZeneca, which developed its shot with Oxford University, told the EU on Friday it could not meet agreed supply targets up to the end of March. Each EU member state has a separate supply contract with the company.

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian: Coronavirus live news: Germany backs limits on EU vaccine exports; South African president decries 'vaccine nationalism' ———