France has opened up its Covid-19 vaccination programme to all over-18s who can now book an appointment for an injection if spare doses are available the following day.
Until now vaccine slots have been reserved for certain age groups and those with underlying medical conditions – and were opened up to all over 50s on Monday (May 10).
Now all adults can benefit from spare doses and last-minute appointments, rather than allowing vaccines to go to waste or having to wait until June 15, when all adults in France become eligible for inoculations.
So far, some 18.1 million people have had one dose of vaccine while another near-8 million have had two in France. The government has set a target of 20 million first doses by May 15.
With almost two million doses remaining to reach its target in just a few days, it hopes that opening last-minute slots to all adults will mean that there is no let-up in take-up of vaccines on the Ascension holiday on Thursday, or the following day, which many take as a holiday to create a long weekend period.
President Emmanuel Macron announced the acceleration of the vaccination programme last week while on a visit to a new mass vaccination centre in Paris. However it has come into effect a day earlier than he forecast.
As before, members of the public can use Doctolib to reserve appointments. Doctolib said that all bookings can be made via its website or smartphone app and there is no need to go online at a certain time.
Users need to tick the Public non-prioritaire box for “over-18s for appointments available between now and tomorrow evening.”
Entering the name of their town or postcode will bring up vacant slots in their area.
The website Vitemadose, set up by Guillaume Rozier who developed the Covid Tracker website, now also has function, known as ChronoDoses, to allow users to search for last-minute appointments in their area.
Over-18s looking for a spare dose can enter their address into the Vitemadose website, enter their town or postcode, and then select Chronodoses uniquement to see upcoming free appointments locally.