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France Covid: fourth vaccine dose now being offered to over-60s

People in this age group who had their first booster more than six months ago are eligible for additional vaccine but it is not mandatory

Over-60s in France are now being offered a fourth vaccine dose six months after their first booster Pic: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

France’s fourth dose campaign has been opened to people aged 60 and over.

The additional vaccine dose had previously been offered to over-80s, immunosuppressed patients and care home residents only. 

“We will be able to continue recommending the second booster dose for over-80s, and we will be able to open it up to people in France aged 60 and over if they had their last booster dose at least six months ago,” Health Minister Olivier Véran said today (April 7). 

This second booster dose will remain optional. 

“We know that, for over-60s, a booster dose reduces the risk of hospitalisation, intensive care admission and death by 80%,” Mr Véran added. 

“Even if these risks are lower today than they were with previous variants and before widespread vaccination coverage, there remains a risk. We can reduce it with four [doses], so we are proposing it.

The government’s decision comes following advice from the health service quality regulator the Haute autorité de santé.

Mr Véran said that there are around 500,000 over-60s in France who had their booster dose more than six months ago and who are therefore eligible for another vaccine dose. 

“As the virus circulates, it is all about reducing the impact on hospitals. We know that hospitals need to breathe.”

Mr Véran also stated that: “We have passed the peak of the [Covid case] rebound,” which has been affecting France and other European countries since the beginning of March.

Read more: Covid rebound in France: how soon are people being reinfected?

Read more: French health minister defends easing of Covid rules despite case rise

“I am not saying that the pandemic is behind us, and I am telling French people to continue protecting themselves at this time. However, the dynamic is no longer rising but is beginning to fall. The [number of cases] has dropped by around 5% over the last five days.”

You can book a vaccination appointment online through platforms such as Doctolib, which contains the details of vaccination centres around the country.

Related articles 

Is Covid ‘over’ in France? Doctors disagree and debate

French fourth vaccine: do I need it if have had three doses and Covid?

End of France’s vaccine pass: What changes for tourists and residents?

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