Luxembourg aims to double vaccination rate by end-June
By Patrick Jacquemot and Zuzanna Reda-Jakima
Luxembourg might be able to more than double the number of people receiving Covid-19 vaccines to 280,000 by the end of June, the country's inoculation campaign head said.
"We should probably be able to inoculate another 150,000 people before 1 July," Luc Feller of the Haut-Commissariat à la Protection Nationale said on Monday when opening the country's fifth vaccination centre.
More than 130,000 residents have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including 34,000 people who have had the two jabs required for full protection under the schemes developed by drug-makers Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNtech.
The first batch of 2,400 vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson's Janssen, which so far is the only single-dose treatment authorised by the EU, also has been delivered to Luxembourg, Health Ministry spokeswoman Monique Putz said in an email late on Monday.
"The doses will be distributed to the different inoculation centres on a parity basis, and the administration will start in the coming days," she wrote.
The Janssen shot had been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for use, however on Friday the drug regulator said it started a review to assess blood clots in people who received Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. Four serious cases of unusual clots, one of which was fatal, have emerged after immunisation with the J&J jab, EMA said. It is the second Covid vaccine the regulator is scrutinising for potential safety issues after AstraZeneca’s product was possibly linked to a rare blood-clotting disorder.
Top disease control and drugs agencies in the US on Tuesday recommended that the country suspend the use of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine. There have been six reported cases of a rare but severe type of blood clot among nearly 7 million doses of the vaccine already dispensed in the country.
In Luxembourg, there have been only two cases of people requiring medical attention “after feeling slightly unwell” following vaccination, Feller said.
Almost three out of four people invited to receive a vaccine in Luxembourg have now come for their jab, the Health Ministry said on Friday.
The fifth vaccination centre near the Findel airport which opened on Monday means Luxembourg now can inoculate up to 50,000 per week, health officials said. The inoculation roll-out is subject to timely vaccine delivery.
The Hôpitaux Robert Schuman in Kirchberg, which has been embroiled in a scandal about VIPs jumping the vaccination queue, will hold an extraordinary general assembly on Monday to discuss possible leadership changes, broadcaster 100,7 reported.