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Is there a waiting list system for Covid jabs in France?

France's health minister said in January that a waiting list system would be set up so that anyone trying to book a Covid-19 appointment would only have to phone once and then their contact details would be taken so they could be re-contacted

Reader question: I am sure I read in The Connexion that France was going to introduce a waiting list system for people trying to book Covid-19 jabs, so that we don’t all have to keep phoning back all the time. I haven’t read anything about this actually being implemented though. Was it set up?

Our reader is correct. On January 19, The Connexion reported that France’s Health Minister stated he would set up a waiting list system for Covid-19 vaccinations. 

“When you are in telephone contact with a [vaccination] centre or when you go to the website but you cannot find a slot available, we will register your contact details and we will call you back when slots are available for vaccination," Mr Véran told radio network France Inter .

"There will be no need to call back,” he said. 

He stated the system would be up and running by the end of that week. 

However, France Télévisions’ investigative news team L'Oeil du 20 Heures has found that this system was never formally established in vaccination centres across the country. 

The Ministry of Health told the team that Mr Véran’s words were a recommendation for individual vaccination centres to organise the implementation of the system themselves. 

The mayor of Laval, a town in the department of Mayenne, said that no waiting list system had been set up at the local vaccination centre and that it was Mr Véran’s responsibility to establish one. 

“It is up to him to keep his promises and to provide the means at his disposal, financial and human resources, if he wishes these people to be phoned back. As a local elected official I will not do so,” Florian Bercault said.

L'Oeil du 20 Heures phoned vaccination centres in 11 other departments around France and found that none had set up a waiting list system. 

Mr Véran said on February 9 that all vaccination appointments are fully booked until the end of February and that new slots would be open in March.

Read more:

France Covid-19: Vaccines on track and no new lockdown

Covid France: ‘I had to try for days to book vaccination’

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