AstraZeneca did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Italy's move came just days after Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who took office last month, told fellow European Union leaders that the bloc needed to speed up vaccinations and crack down on pharma companies that failed to deliver on promised supplies.
"The new data also shows that the vaccine is even more effective when the first and second jabs are administered 12 weeks apart", said Spahn. On Wednesday, the nation recorded a total of 20,840 new cases - meaning the seven-day average there now stands at 18,244. Italy has about two-and-a-half times the people, but has administered about 100 times the doses.
Workers unload boxes of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Belgrade Airport, Serbia.
Ontario's Health Minister says the province is working towards providing residents that have been treated against COVID-19 with a proof-of-vaccination document in the form of a passport.
The health minister says it's the government's goal to ensure everyone is properly educated when it comes to getting vaccinated, and though the process is not mandatory, Elliott has said that some people could face restrictions if they opt not to get the vaccine.
The ministry said Italy had previously authorised the export of AstraZeneca vaccine - which is manufactured in multiple countries and packaged at sites in Germany and Italy - but only in "modest quantities ... for scientific research purposes".
New European Union regulations, created to bolster the bloc's access to COVID-19 vaccines, permit member nations to request the export of locally-produced vaccine doses be blocked to other regions.
The decision affects 250,000 doses of the vaccine produced at an AstraZeneca facility in Italy.
The scheme started on January 30 and is to run until at least the end of March.
Despite the EU's medical regulator approving the use of AstraZeneca's vaccine for all age groups in January, the rollout was initially met with skepticism after some countries cited insufficient data on its efficacy for older people.
"In the future, all companies producing vaccines against COVID-19 in the European Union will have to provide early notification whenever they want to export vaccines to third countries", Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said at the time.
He added that his party would still like an outright export ban to be on the table.
Ms von der Leyen said she agreed with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that vaccine factories in the United Kingdom and Europe would deliver doses to the EU.