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Can I get Covid booster jab while not yet in French healthcare system?

France is now offering a second booster dose to everyone aged over 60 and several other categories of people

Most people in France are in the healthcare system but there are some exceptions Pic: Yuganov Konstantin / Shutterstock

Reader question: Covid vaccinations are now being offered to a wider range of people in advance of the winter. If you’re eligible for a vaccine and have moved to France this year but are not yet part of the healthcare system how can you get vaccinated?

Everyone who is a resident in France has the right to get Covid vaccinations for free, whether they are in the healthcare system or not. 

France is currently offering second booster doses to everyone aged 60 and over, those aged under 60 who are at risk of serious forms of Covid and people in their close circle, pregnant women and care home residents. 

Read more: Five million more people in France offered extra Covid booster

Almost everyone living in France should be in the French healthcare system, but there are some exceptions. 

For example, people who have recently moved to the country may still be waiting as you need proof of having lived ‘regularly’ in France, meaning for three months. 

Foreign residents of France who retire early, such as those from the UK, often also need to take out private health insurance for a period of time before they can enter the French healthcare system. 

Other people have private insurance through their work with international organisations, such as the UN. And others are cross-border workers and are in the healthcare systems of neighbouring countries, such as Switzerland, Monaco, etc. 

How to get a Covid booster vaccination?

There are many different ways to book a Covid vaccine appointment in France, such as through a doctor, through the website sante.fr, through various other appointment booking sites or by walking into pharmacies or vaccination centres. 

You can read our guide to booking a vaccination appointment here: How to book your Covid-19 vaccination appointment in France.

If you opt for a walk-in appointment, be prepared to explain to the staff that you are not yet in the French healthcare system and therefore do not have a carte Vitale. 

This should not now pose any issues and the staff should be used to this, but people did report some issues with this earlier in the vaccination roll-out process. 

You should take your ID with you, for example your carte de séjour, and it could help to take proof of residence in France, although this is not compulsory. 

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- 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.
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