Covid France: Why was I refused jab due to no Carte Vitale?

A reader was turned down despite all residents in France having the right to be vaccinated against Covid-19  

20 March 2021
By Thomas Brent

Reader question: Following your article that stated residents in France without a Carte Vitale can be vaccinated against Covid-19 I arranged an appointment at my local vaccination centre. However, I was told that this is impossible due to not having a Carte Vitale and was refused. What is going on?

The Connexion published an article on January 27 stating the process by which French residents without health cards (Cartes Vitale) could be vaccinated against Covid-19.

How to get Covid vaccine in France if no carte Vitale

This article was based on information supplied to The Connexion by France’s Ministry of Health and is accurate.

Following the above reader question, The Connexion re-contacted the Health Ministry to find out why our reader was refused a vaccination. 

The ministry responded with the following statement:

“A Carte Vitale is not mandatory to be vaccinated, so this is an error made by the vaccination centre in question. We invite your reader to contact their vaccination centre again.

“Lack of medical coverage is not a barrier to vaccination.

“On the one hand, since this is a public health issue, unaffiliated people as well as very vulnerable populations will be able to be vaccinated free of charge.

“The decree n° 2020-1833 of December 31, 2020 published in the Journal officiel ‘Lois et Décrets’ of January 1, 2021 guarantees that there will be no cost for vaccinations, including for people who have no social security coverage.

“On the other hand, as of January 28, 2020, a foreigner or a homeless person will be able to be vaccinated in a vaccination centre even if he or she does not have a Carte Vitale. As of this date, the Vaccin Covid information system will be able to track the vaccination of foreigners who do not have a health insurance card.”

If you are a resident in France without a Carte Vitale and you have an appointment for a vaccination against Covid-19 and the staff at the centre are not sure what to do, you can show them the following text (the French version of what is stated above):

L’absence de couverture médicale ne constitue en aucun cas un frein à la vaccination. D’une part, étant donné qu’il s’agit d’un enjeu de santé publique, les personnes non affiliées ainsi que les populations très précaires pourront se faire vacciner gratuitement. Le décret n° 2020-1833 du 31 décembre 2020 publié au JORF du 1er janvier 2021 garantit l’absence de reste à charge sur les frais de vaccination y compris pour les personnes qui ne bénéficient d’aucune couverture sociale. D’autre part, à compter du 28 janvier 2020, un étranger ou un sans-abris pourra se faire vacciner en centre de vaccination même s’il ne dispose pas d’une carte vitale. En effet, à compter de cette date, le système d’information Vaccin Covid sera à même d’assurer la traçabilité de la vaccination des étrangers dépourvus de carte vitale.
- Direction générale de la Santé

You can also show the relevant decree n° 2020-1833: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/jorf/id/JORFTEXT000042845695

You can also direct the staff to the Ministry of Health’s website where there is a section of frequently asked questions. If you scroll down to the question, ‘Dois-je venir avec des documents particuliers ?’ and open it you will see the following response:

“Une pièce d’identité et votre carte vitale pour pouvoir donner votre numéro de sécurité sociale.

Depuis le 28 janvier, un étranger ou un sans-abri pourra se faire vacciner en centre de vaccination même s’il ne dispose pas d’une carte vitale.

“Par ailleurs, si vous disposez d’une preuve d’un résultat antérieur positif à la Covid-19, vous pouvez la présenter lors de votre premier rendez-vous. Après votre entretien médical, il pourra vous être proposé de procéder à votre vaccination en une seule dose de vaccin au lieu de deux.”

These elements should serve as proof to your right to be vaccinated. It could also help to bring with you proof of residence.

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