Can I have Covid booster jab in France if vaccinated with AstraZeneca?

Vaccination campaign information only makes reference to administering doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines

28 October 2021

France is only using Pfizer and Moderna for its booster vaccination programme Pic: PIC SNIPE / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

The TousAntiCovid app mentions booster doses for people over 65 but only refers to the use of Pfizer and Moderna. What should you do if you received the AstraZeneca jab?

Covid booster vaccine doses administered in France use either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, regardless of the vaccine that the individual initially received. 

Read more: Why France is no longer using Moderna for Covid booster jabs

Read more: Moderna approved by EU as booster jab, one week after France stops it

This is because Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA messenger vaccines, which are recommended by France’s health service quality regulator, Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS). 

In a statement published in August, HAS said: “After having analysed the data available, we recommend a booster dose of an mRNA messenger vaccine for people aged 65 and over, as well as people with health conditions which increase their risk of suffering serious forms of Covid-19.

“This booster dose should be administered at least six months after the first two doses have been received. 

“Recent studies suggest that there is a reduction in the efficacy of all [available] vaccines, especially in the case of the Delta variant.

“With regards to people vaccinated with the [single-dose] Janssen [Johnson & Johnson] vaccine, HAS recommends that an mRNA messenger vaccine be offered at least four weeks after the first injection.

HAS added that, as mRNA messenger vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna are “both very effective against serious forms of Covid-19, including those linked to the Delta variant.”

Pfizer and Moderna have both reported that their vaccines provide well over 90% protection against serious forms of Covid, even after six months.

Figures from Public Health Scotland suggest that the level of protection offered by Pfizer may be slightly lower, at 75%, but also that AstraZeneca is only 61% effective against the Delta variant. 

So, even if you were initially injected with AstraZeneca, you can still receive Pfizer or Moderna for your booster. 

Read more: Details of who is eligible for France's Covid-19 booster plan revealed

On October 15, HAS published a further statement recommending that healthcare professionals opt for the Pfizer vaccine, suspending use of Moderna until further advice was issued by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). 

The EMA later approved the use of Moderna for booster jabs, effectively giving the green light for France to continue administering the vaccine.

France is currently offering booster Covid vaccine doses to:

  • People over 65

  • Medical professionals

  • People at risk of serious forms of Covid (including those with diabetes and obesity issues)

  • People who are severely immunocompromised and their close friends and family

  • People who received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine are eligible to receive a booster vaccine dose in France

You can find out more about the Covid booster campaign on service-public.fr.

Related stories 

French health minister has Covid booster: what plans for wider public?

Will my French health pass become invalid if I refuse my booster dose?

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