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Coronavirus live news: inoculation in EU begins but cold-chain concerns delay Covid vaccine in Germany | World news

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Vincenzo De Luca, the governor of the Italian state of Campania received a dose of the vaccine on Sunday, prompting an accusation that he abused his powers to be immunised before health workers.

Italy has officially launched its programme of mass vaccination against Covid-19, prioritising healthcare personnel, followed by people aged over 80.

As a 71-year old politician, De Luca doesn’t fall into either of the two categories.

The mayor of Naples, Luigi De Magistris, said:

What President De Luca did is an abuse of power. He is taking advantage of his institutional role to get vaccinated when the vaccine, in the first weeks, was exclusively destined for doctors, nurses, health workers and elderly, considering the very few doses available. But it looks like the health of President De Luca unfortunately comes before the people of Campania. He should be ashamed and apologise.

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As unemployment benefits expired for millions of Americans on Saturday, Donald Trump, who spent Christmas playing golf in Florida, continued to block a $900bn pandemic relief bill that would extend them.

The US package, which Congress passed with bipartisan support on Monday after months of negotiations, would keep unemployment benefits in place until March and expand state benefits by $300 a week – as well as extending an evictions moratorium, providing federal loans to small businesses and $600 direct payments to many Americans.

But without Trump’s signature, the entire package – set to be the second biggest in US history – is stalled and the US government now faces a shutdown on Tuesday.

“I simply want to get our great people $2,000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill. Also, stop the billions of dollars in ‘pork’,” he tweeted on Saturday morning.

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Coronavirus live news: inoculation in EU begins but cold-chain concerns delay Covid vaccine in Germany | World news

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