The Pfizer vaccine can now be administered in doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries, laboratories, nurse and midwife offices and pharmacies in France in a bid to make it more accessible.
Previously it was only available in vaccination centres.
Making it more easily accessible should help facilitate the booster dose campaign, currently aimed at people aged 80 and over and people with health issues putting them at high risk of serious illness if they contract Covid-19.
It is hoped it will also encourage those who have not already been vaccinated against Covid to do so.
While Moderna, the other RNA messenger Covid vaccine authorised for use in France, is already available in these places, there is expected to be more demand for the Pfizer vaccine.
Spokesperson for pharmacists’ union l'Union des syndicats de pharmaciens, Gilles Bonnefond, told France Info: “There is a certain reticence with Moderna because the vaccine is less well known, even though it is equally effective.
“Having all the RNA messenger vaccines available in pharmacies will allow us to offer a complete service to patients who are still deciding if they want to get vaccinated.
“Being able to offer Pfizer in doctors’ surgeries, pharmacies, and from nurses will mean we can convince many more people.”
President of nursing association le Conseil de l'Ordre des Infirmiers, Patrick Chamboredon, said that giving nurses access to administer Pfizer vaccines would also increase vaccination rates among people who find it difficult to travel.
“We can give injections in medical centres for people with appointments, but also in a patient’s home,” he said.
“If a patient is over 65, we can bring them a RNA messenger vaccine, such as Pfizer, and give them a first dose, a second dose, or a booster.”
Doctors, nurses, and midwives can also now order single dose syringes of the Pfizer vaccine instead of vials containing seven doses, which must all be given on the same day.
However, of the millions of doses of the Pfizer vaccine delivered in France this week, only 233,000 were ordered by medical practitioners..
Among these, doctors ordered a third of all doses.