Will French health pass be invalid if I can’t have Covid booster yet?

From December 15, the Covid booster will gradually become a compulsory element of over-65s’ health passes depending on the date of the second dose

10 November 2021

President Emmanuel Macron has announced that booster vaccine doses will soon become a compulsory part of the health pass for over-65s Pic: BanLL LunLa / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

[Update November 19: over-65s who received the Janssen vaccine will have to get their booster within two months of their first dose in order to retain their health pass.]

I am fully vaccinated but I received my second dose too recently to get my booster by December 15. Will my health pass be invalidated?

During his address to the nation last night (November 9), President Emmanuel Macron stated that “from December 15, you will have to prove that you have had a booster [vaccine dose] to extend the validity of your health pass.”

Read more: Boosters, masks, fifth wave: Key points of Macron’s speech on Covid

Read more: 100,000 people in France book Covid booster after Macron speech

However, people who are eligible for this third vaccine dose - or second in the case of the single-dose Janssen jab - can only receive this six months after their second dose or four weeks after being injected with Janssen.

For many people, December 15 will be too early, leading some to question whether their health pass will be deactivated despite the fact that they are not yet allowed to go for their booster. 

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal spoke on this this morning (November 10) saying that the health pass will be invalidated for people over 65 who have had their second dose six months and five weeks previously and who have not been for their booster.

“If you are over 65 and you have had your second dose six months ago, you will have five weeks in which to receive your booster,” he said.

So, if you only had your second vaccine dose on July 15, for example, your health pass will remain valid beyond December 15 as long as you make sure to book and go to your booster appointment in the five weeks after January 15 (the date marking six months since your last injection).

France is currently offering booster doses six months after the second dose 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 together with 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 (four weeks after the first dose)

Those with health conditions making them particularly vulnerable to Covid are “encouraged” to receive a booster, although it will only be over-65s whose health passes will be conditioned upon this action.

This is because the pass shows an individual’s date of birth, meaning that if vulnerable people under 65 were obliged to receive a booster dose it may be obvious to anyone scanning their QR code that they had a health condition, compromising patient confidentiality.

In December, people aged 50-64 will also be offered their Covid booster, as “83% of those in intensive care are over 50,” the president said during last night’s speech.

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