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Does ‘fully vaccinated’ include booster jabs under French rules?

With the arrival of boosters, the concept is no longer as clear as it depends on your age, the activity you are doing, and other factors

A Covid booster shot

France is offering Booster Covid shots - usually meaning third doses - to all adults Pic: Leigh Prather / Shutterstock

Reader question: I have had two doses of a Covid vaccine and I am due to get my third dose in two weeks. Am I considered fully vaccinated or not?

With more people in France receiving their Covid booster shots every day - typically a third dose, although not always - the definition ‘fully vaccinated’ is somewhat less clear.

The most recent figures from France’s health ministry, published January 6, show that 26,881,801 booster doses have been administered. 

Currently, an adult who has received two doses of the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccines is considered fully vaccinated in France. 

A person who has received one dose of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine should receive an additional vaccine dose of either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech four weeks after their first shot to be considered fully vaccinated. 

These injections are considered to be the first vaccination cycle. 

However from January 15 adults in France who have gone through their first vaccination cycle will no longer necessarily be considered fully vaccinated within the country. 

From that date, all adults must receive a booster dose within seven months and two days of completing their first vaccination cycle to remain “fully vaccinated”. 

This has already been the case for people aged 65 and over since December 15. 

Booster doses are available to adults from three months after their last jab.

Booster doses are not being administered to under 18s in France, except to certain people deemed at risk of serious forms of Covid. It means that minors are considered fully vaccinated after two doses of Pfizer-BionTech - the only vaccine eligible for them. 

Note that the above rules relate to activities within France. International travel rules are different. 

Currently, the first vaccination cycle is sufficient to be considered fully vaccinated for travel to the majority of countries, including the UK.

However from February 1 people who want to travel within the EU and avoid heavier restrictions (such as quarantines), will have to get a booster dose within nine months of their previous jab to do so, unless they take a pre-departure Covid test. 

Read more: Booster Covid dose needed for travel within EU from February 1

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said on Tuesday (January 4) that people should come forward to get their booster Covid shot because these are likely to be needed for travel to many countries within weeks.

He said that having a booster in order to travel would become “the norm” very soon. 

Read more: UK to consider booster jab for travel abroad: Will France do the same?

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WHO-approved vaccines now OK for French health pass on two conditions

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