top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Covid vaccine France: Am I guaranteed to get second dose?

Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are required

Reader question: I see there has been a lot of trouble with booking vaccine appointments and a long backlog. How can I be 100% sure that I will get an appointment to receive the second dose of the vaccine after having got the first?

France began its public rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine on January 18 and has so far vaccinated over half a million people. Health Minister Olivier Véran has said that over two million appointments have so far been made. 

Everyone wishing to be vaccinated must receive two doses of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines - the only two to so far be authorised in France. 

But France has already received fewer doses of the vaccine than initially expected.

Aurélien Rousseau, director general of the Île-de-France regional health agency (agence régionale de santé or ARS) said that France will receive 2.3 million doses of the Pfzier vaccine in January, 300,000 fewer than planned due to shipping issues. 

Over 1 million Covid jabs booked in France in one day

She said the country must not let this affect the distribution of second doses.

“There should not be a situation where, as in other countries at present, at the time when the second dose is due to be given, the [necessary] doses are no longer in stock,” she said in an interview with radio network RTL on January 19. 

The system of guaranteeing doses in France depends upon appointments.

For example, it is not the case that for every person who receives the first dose, a second dose is put aside for that same person to receive in a few weeks time. 

Rather, when someone arranges a vaccination appointment on one of the booking platforms -  Doctolib.fr, Maiia and Keldoc - a second appointment is automatically made at the same vaccination centre. 

From then, the centre will only be able to make new appointments provided it expects to receive enough doses to give the person booking a second vaccination. 

Covid-19 France: Where can I book a vaccine appointment?

If someone books an appointment by phone call, a second appointment will be arranged on the day of their vaccination at the centre. 

Mr Véran said that every time new doses arrive, they are made available immediately, either for new appointments or for second doses. In this sense, the country is relying on receiving vaccine doses as planned in order to give people the required second doses. 

Mr Véran said that the country is working with stocks about a half-week in advance in order to prevent any unforeseen issues.

The country also has a national reserve of 8,000 doses. 

It is therefore possible that if France does not receive future supplies of vaccine doses people who have received the first dose will not have the second. This is thought very unlikely. 

See below our table of what vaccines France has ordered, plus how many doses and when they will be available. 

Read more about how many vaccine doses France will have access to here.

Read more:

France Covid: Vaccine was painless and very well organised

France’s Covid vaccine booking system to be improved

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