I am a cross-border commuter working in Luxembourg, where will I be vaccinated?
Each EU country receives the vaccines according to the number of residents. You will therefore receive your vaccine in the country you live in.
From 5 July 2021, cross-border commuters aged 18 years and older have the opportunity to register online on 3 separate waiting lists to express their interest in being voluntarily vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) or an mRNA vaccine. To register, visit impfen.lu.
What vaccines are currently available against COVID-19?
4 coronavirus vaccines have received marketing authorisation from the EMA, the European Medicines Agency, and the green light from the European Commission for their use. This process is very important as it ensures the safety and quality of the vaccines as well as their effectiveness.
On 21 December 2020, the EMA issued a positive opinion on the BioNtech/Pfizer vaccine, which was subsequently approved by the European Commission. This vaccine was administered for the first time in Luxembourg on 28 December 2020. Meanwhile, the vaccine from Moderna was also approved on 6 January 2021, and our country was the first EU Member State to be supplied with Moderna vaccines. The AstraZeneca vaccine was approved by the EMA on 29 January 2021. The Jansen vaccine was approved on 11 March and will soon be distributed in Luxembourg and the EU Member States. Our country currently has 3 safe coronavirus vaccines that can be administered as part of its vaccination strategy.
Other COVID-19 vaccines are still in the process of being submitted for approval by the EMA. These include the Curevac vaccine, Novavax and Sputnik V.
Is the coronavirus vaccine safe?
COVID-19 vaccines are developed according to the same strict regulatory requirements for pharmaceutical quality, safety and efficacy, as any other drug.
Before being released on the market, the vaccine goes through several stages, from rigorous tests where the quality of the vaccine is controlled to approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), through a scientific evaluation by the regulatory authorities (EMA and other regulators in EU/EEA countries) before its effectiveness is tested through research first in the laboratory and then on volunteers. It should be noted that the clinical trial programme must be carried out in accordance with the procedures and protocols established by the regulatory authorities. It must also be approved in each case by a medical ethics commission.
Who is responsible if COVID-19 vaccines have a negative impact on public health?
As with any other vaccine, it is the manufacturer of the vaccine that is, in principle, responsible in the event of any adverse public health effects. However, the adverse effect must be due to a problem with the product itself, its composition or production.
The physician who carries out the vaccination is also civilly liable if he or she makes a mistake in handling or administering the vaccine, and if this mistake is the cause of the side effects.
Finally, when a vaccination is imposed by a legal or regulatory provision or recommended by the State, and that vaccination causes the death of the vaccinated person or results in permanent physical incapacity, the State is liable for the damage, without prejudice to any action that may be taken in accordance with ordinary law, and insofar as the damage is not compensable under the Social Insurance Code.
Will vaccination against COVID-19 be compulsory?
No. As with most vaccines in our country, vaccination against COVID-19 will be carried out on a voluntary basis.
I have already had COVID-19, can I still get vaccinated?
A person who has been in contact with the coronavirus can be vaccinated against it. At present, it is impossible to say that a person who has already been in contact with COVID-19 remains immune to the disease. It is also not possible, in the case of immunisation, to predict the duration of this immunisation. Unfortunately, reinfections have been reported.
Is a screening test necessary before getting vaccinated?
No, it is not necessary to get tested for COVID-19 before vaccination. Even if you are unknowingly infected, the vaccine can be administered safely.
Does the vaccine also protect against mutations of the virus?
Mutations do not necessarily affect the efficacy of the vaccine against the virus.
The scientific community and regulatory authorities are monitoring whether the coronavirus is changing over time and whether vaccines can protect people against infection with new variants. If it turns out that adjustments need to be made, science will provide an answer to this question, as it does for other viruses to which we have adapted.
Do I have to be vaccinated against coronavirus every year?
It is not possible at this stage to answer this question, as we do not have sufficient hindsight to know exactly how long the immunisation obtained with the vaccine lasts, whether it covers the various mutations of the virus or whether these require the composition of the vaccine to be regularly modified, as is the case, for example, with seasonal influenza.
After vaccination, am I immediately immune?
About 2 weeks after the first dose of vaccine, the initial immune response provides partial protection against an infection. However, it takes 2 weeks after the second dose of vaccine for the immune response to be fully developed and for an optimal protection against an infection.
As with other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine does not provide 100% protection even after the second vaccination. It is still possible to become infected. Vaccination will reduce the symptoms of the disease.
It is important to continue to respect the protective measures in order to avoid as many infections as possible.
Can I stop following the protective measures after I have been vaccinated?
No. Even after you have been vaccinated, you must continue to respect the protective measures until the health crisis is effectively under control, in particular through herd immunity. It cannot be ruled out at present that a vaccinated person may no longer be a carrier of the virus. However, it will take some time before this immunity is achieved. It ensures that a sufficiently large number of people are immunised.