In Luxembourg the interval between the two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is currently set at eight weeks, despite the Superior Council of Infectious Diseases recommending 12 weeks.
A person who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday 4 May will see that, according to their certificate, the appointment for the second is set for 29 June, i.e. eight weeks later. Until recently, the interval was ten weeks.
According to the head of the National Health Directorate, Dr Jean-Claude Schmit, there are no medical reservations regarding this decision. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommends an interval of four to 12 weeks. When the vaccine was first introduced, the Superior Council of Infectious Diseases (CSMI) indicated a period of eight to 12 weeks.
In its statement of 16 April, the CSMI clearly favours a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine 12 weeks after the administration of the first dose. Upon enquiry by RTL, the CSMI explained that a 12-week interval would give more room to collect and evaluate data on possible side effects.
Germany's Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) also recommends an interval of 12 weeks between the two doses. It argues that this would also increase the protective effect of the vaccine.
Dr Schmit acknowledges that there are "some indications, but only in one study, that it would be better to wait a little longer than eight weeks". The National Health Directorate is currently looking into potentially adjusting the interval.
According to Dr Schmit, the current eight-week interval mainly has organisational reasons. As of 4 May, 31,245 people have registered on the AstraZeneca volunteer list. Of these, 16,000 have already received an invitation to be vaccinated. To date, no communication has been made about the dates on which the next invitations will be sent. However, the National Health Directorate has confirmed that a delivery of 21,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is scheduled for this week.