No mixed vaccines yet as parliament mulls new Covid law
Parliament is mulling how to extend its Covid legislation before the summer holidays as the government is awaiting the results of a study from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on whether to mix vaccines.
The current Covid law, which was introduced in mid-June and considerably loosened the restrictions, is set to lapse on 15 July when the summer holidays traditionally begin and parliament goes into recess.
"A new Covid law could stretch two months over the summer holidays", lawmaker Mars di Bartolomeo of the centre-left social democrats, who also chairs parliament's health committee, said.
The summer holidays end in mid-September. There would be changes to the current restrictions, but the details are not yet known.
Luxembourg is also considering to allow mixing different vaccines, as some European countries are already doing, but the Grand Duchy is awaiting the results of a study by the EMA at the end of June. Currently, doctors can decide on a case-by-case basis whether to use a different vaccine for a second jab if people are at heightened risk of developing thrombosis, for instance.
After the end of the current vaccination phase, which targets all adults in the Grand Duchy, the government is considering extending vaccination invitations to cross-border workers.
Luxembourg has not recorded a single death related to Covid-19 for three weeks and the virus is receding, even as the feared Delta variant, against which vaccines seem less effective in preventing transmission, is becoming more dominant in new cases.
Currently, only five people are in hospital with Covid-19 in Luxembourg, two of whom are in intensive care. On Tuesday, the latest day for which data is available, only 12 people tested positive out of 6,500 tests.
The number of people who tested positive last week fell by more than 50% to 90, compared to the previous week, Luxembourg's health ministry said on Thursday. The Alpha variant accounted for just over 50% of virus cases last week and the Delta variant 35%. A total of 505, 986 people have received as least one vaccination dose, the ministry said.
German chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for a common EU approach to containing the Delta variant through stricter travel restrictions to countries where it is common, such as the UK.
As of last Sunday, people can also get PCR tests for free as the Luxembourg government is urging residents to get tested as much as possible to have a clearer idea of how the virus is present in society especially now as vaccinations are becoming more widespread.
Residents can now sign up via www.covidtesting.lu and no longer need to wait for an invitation to take part in the large-scale testing campaign.