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‘Disappointment over Covid vaccine nationalism’

The president of the Australian Medical Association has spoken of his disappointment at Italy’s decision to block the export of 250,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the country.

Dr Omar Khorshid told BBC World News the country would soon be in a position to manufacture the vaccine itself but for now was dependent on supplies coming from elsewhere.

He said: “It’s certainly very disappointing to see this vaccine nationalism rearing its head. Australia has a right to access vaccines like any other country through its contracts that the government has negotiated with these large manufacturers.”

Australia has asked the European Commission to review Italy’s decision to block the export. It is the first time new rules have been used that allow a ban on EU exports if the drug provider fails to meet its obligations to the bloc.

There has been no official comment on the Italian move by the EU or AstraZeneca.

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