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French pharmacies can prescribe and give vaccines: we explain which

They can help with administering both annual and booster jabs

The measure can help save time for both patients and doctors regarding vaccinations Pic: Ceri Breeze / Shutterstock

Alongside being able to prescribe certain antibiotics, pharmacists can now prescribe as well as give certain vaccines to patients. 

Thanks to recent changes in the loi de financement de la Sécurité sociale pour 2023, increased powers have been given to pharmacists in a bid to help lighten the load on doctors. 

As long as they have received the appropriate training pharmacists can offer any vaccination in France’s ‘vaccination calendar’ – including for flu – to everyone over the age of 11, with some minor exceptions.

Below, we detail vaccines they can offer patients.

What vaccines can pharmacists give?

Alongside the seasonal flu vaccine pharmacists can now give any of the vaccines listed on the calendrier vaccinal to people over the age of 11. 

This includes booster vaccines for diseases such as diphtheria, polio, tetanus, and whooping cough, as well as the HPV vaccine for girls. 

Annual shots for flu – and now Covid – are also included in the list as well as a shingles vaccine. 

Measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox vaccines can also be given by pharmacists.

However, pharmacists cannot give live-attenuated vaccines (vaccines with an active part of the virus) to immunocompromised people – these still have to be administered by doctors. 

Read more: 16 things you can do at a French pharmacy other than buy aspirin

Vaccine drive starts in October 

France’s autumn vaccination campaign will start on October 17 when the winter 2023 flu vaccine becomes available.

Those over 65, younger people with serious illnesses or comorbidities, pregnant women and caregivers of elderly or sick people will be able to book a seasonal flu vaccine jab. 

This year’s Covid drive is also due to start on October 17 although health minister Aurélien Rousseau has not ruled out starting vaccinations earlier if the health situation demands it. 

If you want to book a Covid booster jab and belong to one of the ‘at-risk’ groups (those over 65, those with comorbidities, pregnancy women, etc) you are recommended to contact your GP or a pharmacist to book one. 

You can see more on the Covid vaccination campaign here.

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