Government backs priority jab for teachers and police
Teachers, police officers, magistrates, prison guards and others whose job requires close contact with others will get priority in receiving a coronavirus jab, a trade union for civil servants has said.
Health care workers, first responders and fire fighters were among the first to get injected when Luxembourg started the roll-out of the vaccine, but the government decided to expand these priority groups after a meeting between Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and the CGFP trade union.
Also this week, a business lobby called for heavy industry experts or flight crews whose jobs demand frequent travel to get ahead in the queue for a vaccination to avoid quarantines at home or abroad, the Fedil group said in a press release.
Luxembourg entered the final phase of its vaccination programme last week, calling up people aged 54 or younger to get a shot. Over 20,000 volunteers have signed up to get an early injection after the government opened a first-come-first served waiting list for the AstraZeneca jab.
The AngloSwedish drug, which has been linked to rare cases of blood clots, is now only handed out to such volunteers. Moreover, there is no proof that the vaccine is effective against a new mutation of the virus, the so-called South African variant, Health Minister Paulette Lenert said on Friday.
The South-African strain accounted for 8.8% of positive cases in Luxembourg between 12 and 18 April, according to the latest update by the National Health Laboratory, but has been receding from 14% the week before.
In the same period, three cases of the Indian "double mutation", which is currently causing widespread infection and deaths in India have been found in Luxembourg, the national health service reported.
As a result, Luxembourg tightened rules for airline passengers travelling between India and the Grand Duchy. Passengers will need to provide a negative test before departure, take another test on arrival in Luxembourg, and then undergo a mandatory 7-day quarantine before taking yet another test, Lenert said on Friday, speaking with Bettel at a press conference.
This week, Luxembourg registered its 800th Covid fatality since the pandemic began 14 months ago. At the same time, the country has now also given out more than 200,000 doses of a vaccine.