The decision potentially throws a significant wrench into the government's plans to allow pharmacies to administer vaccines.
In its assessment of the draft bill, the Council of State raises numerous critical questions, especially regarding the legal basis of the measure.
As the government has "once again" presented a draft bill that is "rushed" and "raises more questions than it presents solutions", the Council of State has decided to not only formally oppose the bill, but also to reserve its position on the exemption from the second constitutional vote.
According to the Council of State, the draft bill lacks any clarity on the type of training pharmacists would have to undergo to be able to administer vaccines, how pharmacists would be remunerated for administering vaccines, and how this would be taken into account in the nomenclature with the National Health Fund (CNS).
Another point is not specified in the bill, the Council of State criticises: before being vaccinated by a pharmacist, will the patient have to go to a doctor? And if so, will the pharmacist have to ask the patient for proof of this visit?
The Council of State proposes to revise the relevant bill completely, with the necessary care and precision, instead of "rushing it through".
Pharmacies should be able to participate in a vaccination programme on a voluntary basis and prior consultation with a doctor should be compulsory for all patients wishing to be vaccinated, the Council of State suggests.
Referring to what is happening abroad, the Council of State points out that there is no general regulation on this point in Germany, where there have only been a few pilot projects on flu vaccination in pharmacies.
In Belgium, more specifically in Brussels, pharmacies took part in the Covid-19 vaccination campaign as part of the 'pharma on tour' project, but only as vaccination sites, with the vaccines administered exclusively by medical teams.
Finally, in France, if the activity of pharmacists and other health professionals has been extended to the preparation and administration of vaccines, very precise rules have been laid down, going so far as to define the physical framework in which vaccination must take place. According to the Council of State, the Luxembourgish government's draft bill lacks all these details.
In its assessment, the Council of State also wonders why the text only targets pharmacists and not other health professionals such as physiotherapists, nurses, midwives, etc.