Question: I’m 70 so I have this week become eligible for the Covid vaccine – how do I find out which vaccine I will get and can I choose?
There are four Covid vaccines currently licensed for use in France – Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
First of all you need to be in an eligible group, which is done on a strict priority order.
Groups currently eligible are;
- Residents and staff in Ehpad nursing homes
- Healthcare workers, emergency workers and domestic or home helps working with vulnerable groups
- Over 55s
- People of any age who have a serious health condition such as cancer or transplant patients
People who are not in an eligible group can sign up to receive alerts on ‘spare’ vaccine doses or unfilled appointments in their local area.
Who gets which vaccine?
Unlike Germany, which offers a choice when booking, vaccines in France depend on your age group and appointment location.
AstraZeneca is only licensed in France for people aged between 55 and 74, so anyone over 75 or younger than 55 will get one of the other brands. People under 55 who had an AstraZeneca shot before the age guidance changed will receive a different vaccine for their second dose.
Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are all licensed for all age groups in France.
Vaccine centres are largely using Pfizer and Moderna, with some doses of AstraZeneca also used in the large ‘vaccinedromes’ such as the Stade de France.
Family doctors and pharmacies are mostly using AstraZeneca and, from April 12th, the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but some Pfizer doses are also used in a community setting where they have storage capacity.