Which Covid vaccines are accepted for entry into France?

France generally only classes people as fully vaccinated if they have received  European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines, but some other vaccines are recognised on certain conditions

19 November 2021

In general, France counts people as fully vaccinated if they have received all the required doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Janssen Pic: Viacheslav Lopatin / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

Reader question: Which Covid vaccines are classed as fully vaccinated for entry into France and for accessing the French health pass?

France generally accepts vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, but people who have received other vaccines are still counted as being fully vaccinated on certain additional conditions.  

Entering the country 

The French Interior Ministry website states that people are deemed to be fully vaccinated: 

  • 28 days after receiving one dose of the Janssen vaccine,

  • seven days after receiving a second dose of other vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer/Comirnaty, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield)

  • “and, for individuals who have received all the required doses of a WHO-licensed vaccine not approved by the European Medicines Agency,seven days after receiving an additional dose of an EMA-approved mRNA vaccine.”

The vaccines that are approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) but not by the EMA are the Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac, as well as India’s Covaxin, which was issued an emergency use listing by the WHO on November 3. 

The EMA-approved mRNA vaccines are Pfizer and Moderna, so people vaccinated with Sinopharm, Sinovac or Covaxin wishing to enter France must make sure they have had a single dose of one of these jabs at least a week prior to their arrival. 

The Russian Sputnik vaccine has not yet been approved by either the EMA or the WHO. 

Anyone who has been vaccinated with an unapproved vaccine or who has not followed the extra steps required of vaccines such as Sinopharm will be classed as unvaccinated and subject to additional restrictions on entry into the country. 

Fully vaccinated people, on the other hand, must only present their vaccination certificates and a sworn statement confirming that they are not experiencing any Covid symptoms and have not recently been in contact with a confirmed case. 

The French health pass 

The rules for obtaining a French health pass are similar to those which apply when entering the country. 

If you have received both doses of either Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca at least seven days before or a single dose of Janssen 28 days before you are eligible for a health pass without having to complete any additional steps. 

Full courses of vaccines classed as similar to those approved by the EMA, such as Covishield, R-Covi or Fiocruz are also acceptable.

However, if you have been injected with a vaccine approved by the WHO but not the EMA – Sinopharm, Sinovac or Covaxin – you will need to receive an extra dose of an mRNA vaccine – Pfizer or Moderna – four weeks after your original doses in order to acquire a health pass. 

If you have only had one dose of a WHO-approved vaccine, you will need two additional doses of an mRNA vaccine. 

Those vaccinated with Sputnik or any other vaccine which has not been granted approval by either the EMA or the WHO will also be required to receive two further doses of Pfizer or Moderna. 

These individuals will be able to obtain their health pass seven days after these additional doses have been received. 

Read more: WHO-approved vaccines now OK for French health pass on two conditions

People aged 65 and over and those who received the single-dose Janssen vaccine will soon be required to receive a booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna in order to retain their health pass. 

After December 15, any over-65s who received a second vaccine dose more than six months and five weeks before but who have not yet had their booster will have their health pass QR code deactivated. 

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

Read more: Covid France: Do I need prescription for booster after Janssen jab?

The same thing will happen to anyone who received the Janssen vaccine two months prior without going for their booster.

When they receive their additional dose, these people will be sent a new QR code which will become valid seven days after their injection.

Getting vaccinated in France 

France’s own vaccination programme includes any vaccine that is approved by the EMA. 

These are: 

  • Pfizer-BioNTech

  • Moderna

  • AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield 

  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) 

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