France health pass: What about people who cannot have Covid vaccines?

A limited number of people can get a certificate exempting them from being vaccinated against Covid-19 on medical grounds, which they can use in place of the health pass

10 August 2021

A limited number of people in France can get medical certificate stating they are exempt from Covid-19 vaccines on medical grounds Pic: Phovoir / Shutterstock

By Thomas Brent

People in France who cannot get vaccinated against Covid-19 for medical reasons can get a document of proof for this, which they can use in place of the Covid health pass.

A health pass shows proof of being vaccinated against Covid, proof of having tested negative in the past 72 hours, or a Covid test result showing you have been positive between 11 days and six months prior. 

It is now necessary in France to show a health pass to go to restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas, museums, hospitals (in non-emergency situations) and to use long-distance transport services. 

Read more: France extends health pass: Rules for residents and tourists

The list of people who are medically exempt from getting a Covid vaccination is limited.

It concerns people:

  • With a history of documented allergy (confirmed by an allergist) to one of the components of the vaccine, in particular polyethylene glycols, and at risk of cross-allergy to polysorbates

  • Who had a severe anaphylaxis reaction (at least two organs affected) to a first injection of a Covid vaccine, confirmed by a medical professional

  • Who have previously experienced episodes of systemic capillary leak syndrome

  • Who have a medical recommendation not to get a first dose of a vaccination

  • Who have had post-Covid multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children

  • Who have a recommendation, based on multidisciplinary medical consultation, not to get a second dose of a Covid vaccine following the occurrence of a severe adverse reaction attributed specifically to the first dose of the vaccine - this could be myocarditis or Guillain-Barré syndrome, for example

  • Who are being treated with anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies

  • Who have had myocarditis or pericarditis prior to vaccination, which they are still at risk of

Pregnant women in their first trimester are not included in this. 

Please see the official list (in French) here, and consult your GP if you have any questions about it. 

People who fall into one of the above categories are able to benefit from a certificate stating they cannot, for medical reasons, be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. 

This certificate can be used instead of a health pass. It is best to consult your GP about getting this certificate, known as “une attestation de contre-indication médicale” in French. 

Related stories:

Who is eligible for a third Covid vaccine dose in France?

France’s health pass: the rules for TGVs and other train journeys

Covid France: Average age of patients in intensive care is now 59

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