top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Paid Covid vaccine help criticised by French patients’ union

Some agencies in France are offering paid packages to help people get vaccinated as many elderly people in the country struggle with busy phone lines and complicated online booking platforms

A French union representing patients in matters of the health system has criticised businesses running paid services to help people get vaccinated against Covid-19, calling it “unethical”. 

One company proposing such paid packages is Générale des Services - an agency that offers services such as childcare, deliveries, gardening, etc. to individuals.

Its "Vaccin Tranquille" package allows patients to pay for the agency to book the vaccine appointment, take the patient to the vaccination centre, stay with them during the vaccination and take them home again.

The agency charges €40 for the package but covers 50% of the cost. It states on its website that in a majority of cases, patients can benefit from a 50% tax credit on the remaining €20, leaving a final cost of €10.

But France Assos Santé has criticised this paid service.

“We are shocked by the commercial approach,” Catherine Simonin of France Assos Santé told Franceinfo. 

“Abusing these elderly people does not seem very ethical to us.”

She said that elderly people wishing to be vaccinated against Covid-19 can receive help for free from local authorities.

Some towns have also set up free buses to go to vaccination centres. 

There are reports in France of people wishing to book vaccination appointments having to wait on the phone for hours over several days to get through to vaccination centres or discovering all their nearby centres are out of doses. 

Covid France: ‘I had to try for days to book vaccination’

On the Doctolib website, an official platform for booking Covid vaccine appointments, a quick search of vaccination centres around Saint-Malo in Brittany shows that all three of those which appear are currently fully booked.

They all show a message stating: “Due to a very high demand and a limited stock of vaccines, all appointments have already been made. Availability will appear soon. Try again in a few days or look for another centre.”

Read more:

Where are the Covid-19 vaccination centres in France?

France hits one million vaccination target amid delay fears

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now