Third vaccine dose for elderly as pandemic restrictions extended

Illustrative photo showing woman getting a coronavirus vaccine shot Photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Illustrative photo showing woman getting a coronavirus vaccine shot Photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Luxembourg on Tuesday announced it would offer a third vaccine dose to people aged 75 or over, the same day parliament voted into law the next round of pandemic restrictions.

Parliament adopted covid-19 restrictions for the last time in July, which expire on 14 September. Since the end of Luxembourg’s three-month state of emergency in June 2020, the government must seek approval from parliament for pandemic restrictions it wants to introduce.

Until 18 October, the CovidCheck regime remains in place for public and private gatherings, meaning participants need to provide a certificate showing they are vaccinated, tested or have recently recovered from a coronavirus infection.

Restaurants not using the CovidCheck system can seat a maximum of 10 people on their terrace and four people indoors.

The law tightens access to hospitals and requires staff and visitors but also patients to provide a CovidCheck certificate before entering the facility. Emergency room admissions are exempt from this rule.

Masks will remain mandatory on public transport and other infrastructure, such as shops. However, pupils at school will no longer need to wear them when they are seated at their desks. If a Sars-CoV-2 case is diagnosed in a classroom, students of that group will need to wear their masks until tested negative.

The law also extended special leave granted to parents when their child needs to quarantine at home.

Third vaccine dose

The government on Tuesday also said it would offer an additional vaccine dose to people aged 75 or over living at home, to residents of any age at a care or nursing facility, and to people receiving dialysis treatment.

Previously, it had already made an extra dose available to people suffering from impaired immunity.

The dose will be given to people who have completed their vaccine schedule--whether with a two-dose vaccine, such as Pfizer/Biontech, Moderna or AstraZeneca, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson jab.

The additional dose will be administered six months after the initial schedule is completed in case of a two-dose vaccine and two months after the Johnson & Johnson shot.

Invitations for the extra dose will start being dispatched this week, the government said. Care home residents will be vaccinated on site through the vaccination bus. Other recipients of the invitations can get vaccinated at the Victor Hugo hall vaccination centre or at one of the participating general practitioner’s offices.