On Tuesday 12 September 2023, Luxembourg’s Health Directorate issued general recommendations and preventative measures regarding three types of acute respiratory infections.
Due to the approaching winter season, the risk of contracting acute respiratory infections will increase. These infections can be particularly dangerous for vulnerable people. Luxembourg’s Health Directorate therefore reminded that protective measures such as vaccination can prevent the transmission of viruses.
Adults can protect themselves through vaccination against three types of infections, namely the influenza virus infection (flu), SARS-CoV-2 virus infection (COVID-19) and pneumococcal pneumonia.
The ideal time to carry out annual vaccinations is early to mid-October. The duration of protection from vaccines is limited in time, so it is recommended to renew protection until the end of winter, when there are often waves of infections.
As every year, a vaccine adapted to circulating viral strains of the influenza virus (flu) will be available in pharmacies. On medical prescription, the vaccine is free for people over 65 and for certain other categories of vulnerable people. Vaccination is done at the GP's office. The first doses of vaccine will be delivered to pharmacies in September. More information is available at sante.lu/grippe.
Although a slight increase in SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) cases was noted during the summer period, the number of COVID-19 infections remains quite low. Certain new Omicron sub-variants are circulating in the population, generally giving rise to forms that present few symptoms, the ministry noted.
The Superior Council of Infectious Diseases (Conseil supérieur des maladies infectieuses - CSMI) will issue an opinion at the end of September 2023 on the individuals who could benefit from a new booster this autumn. By then, Luxembourg will also have received deliveries of vaccines (COMIRNATY®) adapted to recent variants. Vaccination can be done in pharmacies or at the GP's office. The COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge. The Health Ministry added a reminder that the flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be administered on the same day in different arms. More information is available at sante.lu/covid-19.
Vaccination against pneumococci (pneumococcal pneumonia) is indicated for adults aged 65 and over and for certain categories of people at particular risk. The vaccine is free of charge for these individuals. As a general rule, one dose of vaccine (APEXXNAR®) is sufficient, without the need for booster shots in subsequent years (although with certain exceptions, to be discussed individually with the attending physician). More details on people able to benefit from the vaccine are available on sante.lu/pneumocoque. Vaccination is done at the GP's office and is already available.