Coronavirus live news: virus spread in France showing signs of slowing; fears Africa may be at back of vaccine queue

Daily cases continue to fall in France; health campaigners fear Africa will have to wait until mid-2021 for vaccine; weddings banned and cafes closed in Croatia

7.58pm GMT

The head of British drug manufacturer AstraZeneca said further research was needed on its Covid-19 vaccine after questions emerged over the protection it offers, but the additional testing is unlikely to affect regulatory approval in Europe.

AstraZeneca and its partner, the University of Oxford, announced on Monday that it was seeking regulatory approval for the vaccine after it showed an average 70% effectiveness.

Related: Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine results face growing scrutiny

7.51pm GMT

Spain’s capital Madrid turned on its Christmas lights on Thursday, spending more than last year to illuminate 30 additional streets and squares despite a sharp economic downturn driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

Banners of LED lights in the red and yellow of the Spanish flag appeared in parts of the city, including stretches of over a kilometre alongside the central boulevard that runs past the world-famous Prado museum.

Así ha encendido Madrid la Navidad

#MD964
DIRECTO https://t.co/Cnw7Ol5lQX@MadridDirecto pic.twitter.com/LkccoTnpkx

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Source: theguardian