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Italy Seeks to Manufacture Vaccines

Italy is hoping to get manufacturers of mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to produce doses there, the Financial Times reports.

It adds that Italy has held talks with Moderna, Novartis, and ReiThera to discuss the possibility of domestic vaccine production, but notes that the talks are all in early stages or, in the case of discussions with Moderna, failed. According to the Financial Times, Moderna does not have the capacity or staff to oversee the setup of or the production at sites in Italy.

The discussions, though, underscore the shift in Europe away from adenovirus-vector vaccines and toward mRNA-based ones, FT writes. Following blood clot concerns, a number of European countries halted their use of the use of AstraZeneca's vaccine or added age restrictions and have now delayed their rollout of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, it notes.

"We need to focus now on technologies that have proven their worth," European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday, according to FT. "MRNA vaccines are a clear case in point."