Germany has voiced opposition to a US-backed proposal to waive patents on COVID-19 vaccines, saying they were not hindering production of the jabs.

Its government said the protection of intellectual property is a source of innovation and must remain so.

The European Union earlier said it was ready to talk about the proposal, and some states gave it their full backing.

In a statement, the German government said the US-backed proposal would have significant implications for vaccine production as a whole.

They say the limiting factors in the production of vaccines are the production capacities and the high quality standards and not patents.

However, officials in other member states such as France and Italy gave the proposal their full backing.

The issue is reportedly set to be on the agenda at a two-day EU meeting this week.