France opens Covid vaccines to all over 18s

France opens Covid vaccines to all over 18s
Health minister Olivier Véran, shown vaccinating a patient, has announced the opening up of appointments to all. Photo: Thomas Padilla/AFP
From Monday, all adults living in France are eligible for the Covid vaccine as the country opens up the programme to all age groups.

It was announced last week that France was accelerating its vaccine calendar, and all over 18s are eligible from Monday, May 31st.

In the French government’s original vaccination calendar, under 50s were not eligible for a shot until June 15th.

But the programme has been speeding up in recent weeks and appointments were first opened to under 50s with a health condition, then to anyone who could find a last-minute appointment and finally to everyone from May 31st.

READ ALSO How to book an appointment for the Covid vaccine

Announcing the change, prime minister Jean Castex said France was in a position to ramp up the campaign as it “will receive a lot of doses between now and the end of June, so we must have the highest level of vaccination possible.”

Reflecting on the latest health situation, he said: “We are more than ever on the right track, the indicators continue to improve.”

At present, France’s vaccine programme is for over 18s, although 16 and 17-year-olds with severe health conditions including cancer or transplant patients can also access vaccines.

The opening up of last-minute slots to under 50s has seen a big increase in vaccinations, especially in cities or for people who live near one of the large ‘vaccinedromes’.

Fierce competition for appointments has seen the creation of an appointment-finding app that last week was one of the most downloaded apps in France – here’s how it works.

France last week hit its target of giving 20 million people at least one dose of the vaccine by May 15th, the next target is to have 30 million people – representing 60 percent of the adult population – vaccinated with at least one dose by June 15th.

By Thursday, May 27th, 23 million people had received at least one dose – 44 percent of the adult population –  and 10 million have received both.


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