Explained: France's updated Covid vaccine calendar
Changes to who is able to be vaccinated are being made almost weekly. We summarise the current timeline with a new group, those aged 70 - 74, set to become eligible this Saturday
From Saturday, March 27, all people aged 70 - 74 in France will be eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19, President Emmanuel Macron stated yesterday (March 23). All 75s have been eligible since 18 January.
The vaccination calendar is subject to change, based on the number of doses available and the number of vaccine types authorised in France.
Currently, three vaccine types are being used: AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. A fourth vaccine type by Johnson & Johnson, which operates by one dose only, has been authorised but the first deliveries are not expected until mid-April.
A full list of everyone who is currently eligible for the vaccination is available (in French) here.
Who is eligible from March 27?
- All people aged 70 and over, regardless of their health, can be vaccinated against Covid-19. They can be vaccinated with any of the three vaccine types currently used in France. They can receive the vaccination at their GP practice, at a pharmacy or at a vaccination centre
- People aged between 55 to 69 with existing health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, obesity, etc (see a list here in French). They can be vaccinated with any of the three vaccine types currently being used in France. They can receive the vaccination at their GP practice or at a pharmacy without the need for a medical prescription or at a vaccination centre (if they have a medical prescription).
- People aged between 50 to 54 with existing health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, obesity, etc (see a list here in French). They can be vaccinated with either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines only at a vaccination centre with a medical prescription.
- All residents and staff in care homes
- People of all ages with health issues that expose them to a very high risk of developing a serious form of Covid-19. This includes people with cancer, chronic kidney disease, people who have had organ transplants, people with Down syndrome, etc. See a full list (in French) here.
- People with disabilities, regardless of age, living in special care facilities
- All health professionals
- Please consult the extensive government list that covers all the other people eligible for the vaccination here
Who is next in line?
The government previously stated that everyone aged 65 and above will be eligible for the vaccination from between the end of March to the middle of April, depending on doses being available.
President Macron also announced this week that teachers in France will be able to get vaccinated from mid-April.
The Haute Autorité de Santé in France re-recommended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in France after it was temporarily paused on March 15 but only for people aged 55 and over.
The health body stated that the vaccine should only be used on patients in this age bracket as rare blood clotting issues that motivated its suspension were only reported in people aged younger than this.
The HAS’s recommendation deviates from the opinion of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which has declared AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine safe for all adults following a review by its risk assessment committee PRAC.
The HAS has recommended patients aged under 55 be vaccinated with the two other vaccine types currently being used in France, those of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, while it awaits additional data relating to the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is set to be added to this list starting mid-April.