Italy to develop COVID-19 vaccine with public money

Italy to develop COVID-19 vaccine with public money

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Print this page Email A Friend!

ROME,Italy(AFP) — The Italian government will take a stake in a home-grown company working on a new COVID-19 vaccine, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said Wednesday.

"It is the right choice, and an important one," Speranza said in a statement announcing the investment in ReiThera, a biotech firm based near Rome.

On Tuesday, the office of Italy's coronavirus crisis commissioner, Invitalia, said the state would take a 30-per-cent stake.

A spokeswoman told AFP she could not yet say how much the investment was worth and when the operation would be finalised.

But Invitalia also said Tuesday that ReiThera was set to receive more public aid, in the shape of 81 million euros (US98 million dollars) in grants and loans.

Reithera's vaccine is still in the testing phase and is not yet ready for approval by Italian and European health authorities.

The head of the Italian Medicines Agency, Giorgio Palu, told the SkyTG24 news channel that it will be ready "not earlier than September".

Italy is one of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly 2.5 million infections and more than 86,000 dead.

Like other European countries, it has been forced to slow down its vaccination programme due to delays in the delivery of Pfizer-Biontech shots.

In response, the Italian government has threatened Pfizer with legal action.

Italy started its vaccination programme in late December, and has so far administered 1.5 million doses, with 242,000 people having received the required two jabs.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon