Reader Question: I am not part of any vulnerable group but I would like to have a Covid booster vaccine this autumn. Can I still do this, and if so, do I need to pay?
France’s autumn 2023 Covid vaccine drive commenced on October 2, offering free booster vaccinations to those deemed as vulnerable to the virus.
These include those over the age of 65, those with certain health conditions making them more vulnerable to serious forms of Covid, nursing home residents and pregnant women.
However if you are not deemed to be ‘vulnerable’ but are still concerned about the virus, you are able to have a booster vaccine.
Doctors have said that vulnerable people have “priority” when it comes to receiving the vaccine, but there is nothing to prevent anyone else asking for it.
Vulnerable people known to the health services are likely to have already received information about the vaccine drive. A public information campaign was launched to coincide with the drive.
How do I get the vaccine?
To get the vaccine you can ask for it at your doctor’s surgery, in a pharmacy, or a nurse's surgery. Those who are pregnant can also ask at their midwife's practice.
You may be able to get a walk-in appointment or to book a slot for a later date.
This does not apply to you but those considered extremely vulnerable may be able to arrange a home vaccination.
As long as you are covered by state health insurance (through Assurance Maladie) the vaccine is completely free.
You can usually only have a vaccination at least six months after receiving your previous one (or after a confirmed infection). This is reduced to three months for those in a vulnerable group.
A list of those classed as vulnerable can be viewed here.
As a reminder, you can have a Covid booster vaccine in conjunction with the winter flu jab – the vaccination drive against seasonal flu is set to start on October 17.
One difference for this year’s flu campaign is that the jab will be available to all those eligible from the first day.
In previous years it was staggered and available to certain groups at determined times.