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Why millions in France will have lost their vaccine pass today

Rules regarding booster doses changed on February 15 but there was a grace-period

Since February 15, adults have had to have received their booster vaccine dose in the four months after their second dose in order to retain their vaccine pass Pic: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

Some 3.5 million people in France were set to see their vaccine passes expire today as the grace period for receiving required booster doses comes to an end.

Read more: French vaccine pass: Grace period for last-minute booster recipients

Since January, everyone aged over 18 years and one month has been required to receive a booster dose a certain number of months after their second vaccine dose in order to retain a valid vaccine pass. 

On February 15, the deadline for this booster dose was shortened from seven months after the second dose to four months after.

Adults become eligible for their booster dose from three months after their second dose meaning they now have one month in which to get the extra dose before their vaccine pass expires.

However, it should be noted that it takes seven days for the booster certificate QR code to be activated as valid vaccine pass proof. 

The government therefore accorded a grace period of seven days after the introduction of the new booster deadline for those who may have received their booster in the previous week and were waiting for their vaccine pass to update.

Now, anyone who has not received their booster four months after their second dose, or who had the additional injection less than one week ago will see their vaccine pass expire.

However, it is possible to reactivate the pass by receiving the booster and waiting for seven days.

The 3.5 million figure was estimated according to the fact that there were nearly four million people at risk of losing their pass on February 15, plus another 200,000 people approaching their deadline since that date, but minus 700,000 who got the additional dose in time.

4.1milion people aged over 12 in France are still not vaccinated

There are approximately 4.1 million people over 12 who remain unvaccinated, a number which is refusing to fall substantially, despite the government’s vaccine pass rules.

The government and its advisors are hoping that the approval of the new Novavax vaccine could persuade people who are sceptical about the mRNA vaccines Pfizer or Moderna to get vaccinated. 

“This vaccine is safe and effective; it is based on traditional technology, which has been used for many years,” said immunologist Alain Fischer, who is in charge of France’s vaccination campaign.

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