Why new Covid vaccination campaign is set to launch in France

Over 80s are prioritised but anyone who wants a booster will be able to receive one

The new booster campaign will run from April 15 to June 16
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A new Covid-19 vaccination campaign is to launch in April in France after the winter campaign, which ran until February 29, saw only a third of over-65s get a booster vaccination.
The aim of the new campaign is to ensure that vulnerable people remain protected against a potential resurgence of the virus.

Despite a decline in the numbers of seasonal Covid-19 infections, the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) is concerned that the low take-up of vaccinations over winter could leave vulnerable people exposed.

This comes as a new strain of the virus, called JN.1, has started to spread in France.

"Another vaccination booster will be available for free to people older than 80, Ehpad [care home] residents and immunocompromised individuals irrespective of their age from spring,” announced HAS director Grégory Emery at a press conference on February 27.

At present only 35.9% of people over the age of 80 are vaccinated against Covid-19.

The HAS says that this is of particular concern since these individuals lose their immunity more quickly than the wider population.

It is also concerned by the unpredictability and instability of the Covid-19 family of viruses.

Free vaccinations from April 15 to June 16

The new vaccination campaign will run from April 15 to June 16, and the HAS says this could be extended to July 15 “if the epidemiological situation warrants it”.

While the campaign primarily targets over-80s and vulnerable individuals, Mr Emery said that everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one for free on condition that they respect the three-month delay between boosters.

The vaccination campaign will use the Pfizer/BioNTech (RNA messenger) vaccines and the Novavax (recombinant protein) vaccines.

Read more: How safe were Covid vaccines? Side effects studied by French drug body

Where can you get a Covid-19 vaccination?

The vaccine itself will be free from April 15, however, unless you at risk’ (ie. over 80, immunocompromised, etc.), you must pay for the injection.

The price for the administration of the vaccine is:

  • In a pharmacy: €7.50
  • By a nurse: €7.56
  • By a doctor: €8.50 (the standard €26.50 consultation fee is reimbursed 70% for vaccinations)
  • By a midwife: €8.50

Read more:

Flu vaccination campaign extended due to rise in cases in France