Doctors concerned over low take-up of Covid and flu vaccines in France

Vulnerable groups are urged to get vaccinated as cases of flu reach epidemic levels

Flu jabs are down 8% compared to 2022 giving rise to fears of avoidable deaths

Doctors urge people in vulnerable groups to get vaccinated against Covid and flu to avoid pressure on hospitals with take-up rates for both judged to be too low.

Existing vaccines are considered effective against a new Covid variant JN.1, which made up 40% of reported Covid cases in mid-December in France and is deemed highly transmissible.

Read more: Alert over low take up for flu vaccination in France

Only a quarter of those eligible have had Covid booster

Covid infections are rising with GPs reporting 94,000 new cases from December 4 to 10.

A Covid booster at least six months after the last jab is recommended, particularly for over-65s, but only a quarter are up to date.

Flu jabs are down 8% compared to 2022 giving rise to fears of avoidable deaths, with the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region now in an epidemic phase and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Ile-de-France, Occitanie, Hauts-de-France and Pays de la Loire in a pre-epidemic phase.

Read more: Flu now at epidemic level in France, south worst hit

You can have Covid and flu injections at the same time – one in each arm and there is no charge for at-risk groups, such as over 65s, pregnant women, people with heart and breathing-related disease and diabetes and care home residents.

You can be vaccinated at pharmacies or by doctors, nurses and midwives.

What if I am not at-risk and want a flu vaccination?

The vaccine can be purchased at pharmacies and costs between €6 and €12 depending on the brand. You can ask a doctor, pharmacist, nurse or midwife to administer the vaccination.

The price of a vaccination for people not targeted by the winter flu campaign is:

  • In a pharmacy: €7.50

  • By a nurse: €7.56

  • By a doctor: €8.50 (the €25 consultation is reimbursed 70% for vaccinations)

  • By a midwife: €8.50

Related articles

Covid, flu, bronchiolitis: overloaded French hospitals on ‘plan blanc’

SEE: Covid cases in France at highest level for two years

French pharmacies can prescribe and give vaccines: we explain which