Booster shots for healthcare staff, medical board advises
Healthcare workers as well as people aged over 65 should get Covid-19 booster shots, Luxembourg’s chief medical advisory body said on Tuesday.
Luxembourg began rolling out a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to people aged over 75 and other vulnerable groups in September, after previously only giving it out to those with severely weakened immune systems, such as those who have had a transplant.
Now the Superior Council of Infectious Diseases (CSMI), which advises the government on how to treat diseases and roll out vaccinations, is calling for the booster jab to be given to all healthcare professionals and anybody over the age of 65.
“For healthcare professionals, the CSMI considers that a vaccine booster can be offered in order to reduce the risk of transmission to vulnerable people and to limit the risk of a shortage of healthcare workers,” the advisory group said in a statement.
Luxembourg lags behind many of its EU counterparts in introducing booster shots to the wider population. Germany is calling on all adults to get booster shots six months after their second doses, Bloomberg reported, while officials in France are also encouraging people to have a booster shot. In Spain more than 1 million people have received a booster shot since the government approved the measure in early October.
Just under 76% of adults in the EU have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC), with Luxembourg's vaccinations for people aged over 18 years old just 0.3% below that. France has fully vaccinated 81% of all of its adults, Germany 80% and Belgium 86%.
In another bid to stop the disease taking hold of the country Luxembourg introduced tighter CovidCheck rules at the start of November, which means people going into bars and restaurants must prove they have been vaccinated or tested negative for the coronavirus to be able to enter.
Police have found no instances of people abusing the CovidCheck system, by using the same QR code as a friend or family member to eat out at a bar or restaurant, Health Minister Paulette Lenert said in response to a parliamentary question on Monday.
Residents could potentially abuse the system because bars and restaurants are not allowed to ask clients for proof of ID to check if their name is the same as that on vaccination certificates. The onus to check the certificates are not being used fraudulently falls on the restaurants or bistro, rather than the police, Lenert added.