Coronavirus latest news: Italy is not the problem, AstraZeneca is, claims country’s MP

Italian MP: AstraZeneca is not bananas or milk – it can save lives daily

Here is what the Italian had to say, in full, on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme.

Lia Quartapelle, an Italian politician of the Democratic Party (PD), said: “It is allowed by EU law and we got approved the decision by the EU Commission.

“The situation is very simple – Italy is registering 20,845 cases yesterday. Australia only 11.

“AstraZeneca has delivered to Italy only 40percent of what was written in the contract that it would deliver by the end of March.

“We are asking AstraZeneca to respect the contracts because we need those vaccinations.”

She then went on: “I’m amazed by the fact that the problem is that Italy bans the export and the problem is not AstraZeneca not delivering what is written in the contracts.

“Italy is coming under scrutiny for something that is allowed while AstraZeneca is doing something that is not allowed under the contract it signed. I do not understand why.”

Told by presenter Nick Robinson that the probable reason for that would be that Italy along with other countries have cast doubt over the effectiveness of the vaccine, even banning its use in over-65s, only to reverse its decision after UK data was released, Ms Quartapelle said: “We ordered jabs for our population. They’re not delivering.

“It’s not a matter of how we intend to use those jabs. Whether we intend to give them to doctors or professors.

“It’s not doing this on bananas or milk – it’s doing this on something that can save lives daily.”