Reader question: I am 73 and my wife is 69 and we both have serious health issues. Will we have to wait until after all the healthy over 75’s are vaccinated before it is our turn?
Short answer: In theory yes, but it may be possible to be vaccinated sooner.
France’s strategy is to vaccinate the most vulnerable people first, meaning one million people by the end of January and around 15 million people before the start of the summer.
The vaccine rollout is being done progressively.
Residents of care homes (Ehpads) and their staff were the first category of people eligible for the vaccine.
It was then opened up to firefighters, emergency health service workers and home helpers over the age of 50. People with disabilities in specialised institutions are now also able to be vaccinated.
From Monday, January 18, people aged over 75 living at home (not in Ehpads) will begin to receive the vaccination, starting with those with underlying health issues.
After that, it will be the turn of the over 65s, again prioritising those with underlying health issues.
This is the category that our reader and his wife will fall into. There is no exact date for when this group of people can be vaccinated, but it is thought likely to be the beginning of February.
It may be possible to be vaccinated earlier, however.
Health Minister Olivier Véran said on January 5 that people will be able to sign up online to be informed if there are doses available for use at the end of the day, which would otherwise go unused.
Another element to consider is that not all of the over 75s in France will choose to get vaccinated.
A survey commissioned by BFMTV in December, 2020, found that 49% of the 1,005 people polled said they would refuse to get the Covid-19 vaccination in France.