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Flu vaccination campaign opens in France: how does it work?

People can get a Covid booster at same time

Pharmacists, doctors, nurses and midwives can perform the vaccination Pic: Image Point Fr / Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock

People at-risk can claim their free flu vaccination from today (October 17), at the same time as a Covid booster if they have not had one.

The flu epidemic has not arrived yet in mainland France, but vulnerable people should  ensure that they are protected. 

Between two to six million catch flu each winter. Between November 2022 and April 2023, the virus claimed 1,505 lives, with 110,918 people hospitalised for symptoms, according to official data.

The vaccination campaign will last until January 31, 2024.

Who is concerned by the vaccination campaign?

  • Those aged 65 and over
  • Anyone with comorbidities, including infants aged six months and over, children, teenagers, and adults
  • People who are overweight (Body Mass Index over 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnant women
  • Residents of care homes (Ehpads) and long-term care units (USLDs)

Professionals and anyone in contact with at-risk individuals are also recommended to get a flu jab.

Who can get a free vaccination?

  • Those aged 65 and over
  • Those aged under 65 with certain chronic conditions
  • Pregnant women
  • People who are overweight (Body Mass Index over 40 kg/m2)
  • Anyone in contact with at-risk and immunocompromised individuals, including infants and children
  • Anyone who works in the homes of at-risk individuals 
  • Professionals who work with pigs or birds

People who are eligible for a free vaccination should receive notification from the Assurance maladie. However, if they do not contact you, this does not mean that you are not eligible.

Contact your doctor or a pharmacist if in doubt.

Who can perform the vaccination?

  • Doctors
  • Pharmacists
  • Nurses
  • Midwives

What if I am not at-risk and want a flu vaccination?

The vaccine can be purchased at pharmacies and costs between €6 and €12 depending on the brand.

You can ask a doctor, pharmacist, nurse or midwife to administer the vaccination. 

The price of a vaccination for people not concerned by the winter flu campaign is:

  • In a pharmacy: €7.50 
  • By a nurse: €7.56
  • By a doctor: €8.50 (the €25 consultation is reimbursed 70% for vaccinations)
  • By a midwife: €8.50 

Can I get a Covid booster at the same time as the flu vaccination?

Yes, there is no delay required between the two vaccinations, although the jabs need to go into different parts of the body.

People who are eligible for the flu vaccination are also eligible for the free Covid booster.

The Covid-19 booster campaign was initially scheduled to start at the same time as the winter flu campaign, but was moved forward two weeks to preempt a Covid resurgence.

Related articles

Temperature drop in France: Government advice on how to stay healthy 

Latest Covid data for France shows small drop but not for all ages

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