How do I know if my GP in France has Covid vaccine doses?
From tomorrow February 25, around 30,000 GPs in France will receive one vial of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine to deliver to their patients deemed priority
Reader question: I have been trying to discover how I can find out if my GP has registered to give the Covid vaccine. Is it possible?
Short answer: If you fall into the priority category, your doctor will contact you.
GPs in France are preparing to begin giving Covid vaccinations from this Thursday, February 25, to patients with existing health conditions aged between 50 to 64.
A total of 29,000 GPs have volunteered to receive 10 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine - just one bottle each.
All doses will need to be given within six hours of the vaccine's arrival at the GP surgery if the GP does not have the means to refrigerate it.
Patients will be chosen according to priority, starting with those who are more at risk of a severe form of Covid-19.
This includes people with existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease, obesity, etc.
Doctors have been asked to identify the relevant patients.
People who fall into the priority category will also need to be willing to have the vaccine and available to attend the surgery at the given time.
Doctors taking part in the rollout are required to plan 10 appointments over one half-day for priority patients registered at their surgery.
Eligible patients will be contacted by the surgery directly.
Dr Jacques Battistoni, president of GP union MG France, told news service FranceInfo: “These will be people between age 50-64 who also have a long-standing condition, an underlying condition or who are overweight. These are people who are at risk of a severe form of the illness.
The 29,000 GPs have received one vial containing 10 doses of the vaccine in this first week.
GPs will be able to order two or three vials the following week.
"Then, the greater the supply of AstraZeneca, the more vials there will be. Eventually, doctors will be able to have five or six a week," said Stanislas Niox-Chateau, the CEO and co-founder of Doctolib, one of the online booking platforms that is officially partnered with the government for the vaccination campaign.
He said that the system will become more fluid as time goes by, and that booking appointments will become easier from "mid-March", the newspaper Le Figaro reports.
It will be possible to book a vaccination appointment with your local GP using Doctolib from February 25 Mr Niox-Chateau has said. However, given that doctors will initially receive very few doses, it is unlikely that there will be many slots available.