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French vaccine pass: third dose not needed if had two jabs and Covid

The pass will also remain valid indefinitely for people who have had two Covid infections and one vaccine

Rules surrounding the proof needed to retain a valid vaccine pass have been eased slightly in France Pic: Koshiro K / Shutterstock

Rules surrounding the list of documents people must possess in order to retain their vaccine passes are being relaxed slightly, France’s health minister has announced.

Read more: France Covid: ‘The worst is behind us,’ says health minister

Until now, people have needed to have three vaccine doses within a certain time frame in order to prevent their passes from expiring. 

Even those who had had two vaccine doses and then been infected with Covid could only use their certificate of recovery for six months (and four months from February 15) before they needed to get a further vaccine dose. 

Read more: Update: Covid recovery proof valid for four months from February 15

People become eligible for a booster vaccine three months after catching Covid, and so from February 15 they would only have one month in which to get their additional dose before their vaccine pass expired. 

Now, Health Minister Olivier Véran has said that “an injection” will be completely equal to “an infection,” and so people who caught Covid after both of their initial vaccine doses will not need to get a booster. 

This will also apply to people who had Covid, then had a vaccine dose, then caught Covid again.

“The scientists tell us that in order to benefit from the pass, you must have been exposed at least three times, your immune system must have been targeted at least three times,” he said.

“This stimulation can come from an injection or an infection and you must have had at least one vaccine dose.” So, it will not be possible to get a vaccine pass on the basis of having had Covid three times.

“You will retain your right to a vaccine pass if you have had one injection and two infections, two injections and one infection, or three injections.”

This change, which aims to “simplify” the rules, was decided following approval from the Haute Autorité de Santé health service quality regulator, and the Conseil d’orientation de la stratégie vaccinale.

Although booster doses will no longer be obligatory for people who have recently had Covid, they are still recommended, Mr Véran added. 

It is not yet known when this change will be applied to the TousAntiCovid heath and vaccine pass app. 

Read more: France’s vaccine pass launches: How and where is it being used?

What about my situation? 

  • People will be able to obtain a temporary vaccine pass if they are unvaccinated but have had Covid more than 11 days and less than six months ago. From February 15, this time frame will be limited to four months, after which time the vaccine pass will expire.

The vaccine pass will be created using your original positive test result. Further details of this process can be found here

  • If you have had one vaccine dose before February 15 but have not had Covid you can also obtain a temporary pass as long as you commit to getting your second dose within four weeks of your first and present a negative test result from the last 24 hours at venues. 

  • Those who have had one vaccine dose and had Covid before or at least 15 days after vaccination will be able to get a vaccine pass with no expiry date if they get another dose within six months (four months from February 15) of their positive test. 

  • If you have had two vaccine doses but have not had Covid your vaccine pass will remain valid until seven months (four after February 15) have passed since your second dose. 

  • If you have had two vaccine doses and contracted Covid before or after the second dose, you no longer need to do anything else to retain your health pass as you have been exposed three times.

  • People who have had three vaccine doses will have a vaccine pass without expiry date whether or not they have had Covid in the past.

People who initially received the single-dose Janssen vaccine should note that they become eligible for their booster one month after their first dose, and have a further month in which to get it before their vaccine pass expires. 

These people will then be eligible for a further dose three months later and will need to receive one within the same deadlines applied to other vaccines in order to prevent their vaccine passes from expiring.

Different conditions apply to under 18s, who are not required to receive a booster dose to retain their vaccine passes. Teenagers aged between 12 and 15 do not need a vaccine pass at all, and can continue to use negative test results from the last 24 hours as per previous health pass rules. 

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