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Who is now eligible for a Covid vaccine booster in France?

France has expanded its Covid vaccine booster programme. Here's who is eligible, when you can book and how to keep your Covid health pass valid.

Who is now eligible for a Covid vaccine booster in France?
Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP

Faced with soaring Covid case numbers, France’s Health Minister Olivier Véran announced two important changes to the Covid vaccine booster shot programme – opening up boosters to all adults and shortening the gap between the second and third dose.

Here’s how it works;


Previously only over 65s are eligible, together with health workers, people in high risk groups and those with a vulnerable family member were eligible, but this changed on November 27th.

Now all over 18s are eligible for the third dose.

When can I get a booster?

The previous rule was to leave a gap of six months between the second and third doses, this has now been shortened to five months.

So if you’re over 18 and you had your second dose five or more months ago, you are now eligible for a booster.


Booking and availability of vaccines is unchanged, you can access a vaccine from either a vaccine centre (although some of the larger ones have closed since the summer), your GP/family doctor or a pharmacy.

You can book appointments for GPs and pharmacies in person or by phone, or you can book online for appointments at all three venue types.

The largest booking site – Doctolib – was so overwhelmed by people trying to book an appointment in the immediate aftermath of the minister’s announcement that it was reporting a 30-minute wait just to access the site.

However normal service has now been resumed.

More appointments are coming on stream all the time in order to cope with soaring demand for boosters, but if you are having difficulty finding an appointment slot near you, they very helpful website and app Vite Ma Dose (Quickly, my dose!) may be able to help.

Which vaccine?

Boosters are carried out with either Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccine.

People who book via online platforms such as Doctolib can specify the type of vaccine they want, although this may limit their choice of venue or appointment date.

France recently barred under 30s from getting the Moderna vaccine over health concerns and this applies to boosters too.

Can I get a booster without the carte vitale?

If you are a recent arrival in France and do not yet have the carte vitale – the card confirming your registration in the French health system – you can still get a booster.

If you had your previous vaccines in France, take along with you to the appointment your previous vaccination certificates – it’s better to take the full paper certificate as it has more information than is available on the TousAntiCovid app, plus a piece of ID such as a passport or residency card.

If you had your previous vaccinations in another country and have since moved to France then you should still be able to get a booster, but it might be a little more complicated.

Take along with you your previous vaccination certificates, plus proof that you now live in France and proof of ID such as a passport or residency card. You will also need to explain the situation to staff at the vaccine centre, if you need it here is a link to the Decree allowing people without a carte vitale to be vaccinated in France.

What does this mean for the health pass?

Not only are boosters available for all, they will soon become required if you want to keep your health pass activated.

From January 15th, health passes will begin to be deactivated for people who are eligible for the booster but have not had it within the 7 month time limit – this will be the case from December 15th for those over the age of 65.

The health pass will be deactivated seven months after the date when you got your second dose, giving you two months between becoming eligible and having the pass deactivated to book your shot.

Once you have had the booster, you scan the code from your third vaccination certificate into the TousAntiCovid app in order to keep it activated.

For the moment, the deactivation of health passes will only concern those vaccinated in France, and not tourists arriving from another country. 

Member comments

  1. Is it still true that if you got your first vaccine then got covid and then a second vaccine that were exempt from the booster?

    Thank you
    Barbara Morris

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Are people who’ve had the single J&J jab no longer fully vaccinated in Germany?

Germany's federal vaccine agency says that people who've had one dose of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine should no longer be classed as being fully vaccinated.

People queue for a vaccination in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt.
People queue for a vaccination in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Matthias Bein

People who’ve had J&J, sometimes known as Janssen, used to have full vaccination status after a single dose of the vaccine. 

Since January 15th, however, a single dose of J&J should no longer count as full vaccination, according to the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), the country’s vaccine authority. 

In autumn last year the German government began recommending a second mRNA jab for people who’d had J&J – which many people thought was the booster vaccination. 

However, according to the PEI’s update on proof of vaccination within the Covid Protective Measures Exemption Ordinance and the Coronavirus Entry Ordinance, the second shot is needed to complete ‘basic immunisation’.

It is unclear at this stage if it means that people returning or coming to Germany from abroad with only one shot of J&J will be counted as partially vaccinated and therefore need to present tests or face other forms of barriers to entry. 

We are also looking into what this means for the various health pass rules in states, such as the 3G rules for transport. 

The Deutsches Ärzteblatt, a German-language medical magazine, said: “Special rules according to which one dose was recognised as a complete vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are no longer applicable.”

The Local has contacted the German Health Ministry for clarification on what this means for those affected. 

According to the latest government figures, 5.3 million doses of Johnson & Johnson have been given out in Germany so far in the vaccination campaign. 

The news will come as a shock to those who don’t know that they need another jab, or haven’t got round to getting their second vaccine yet. 

All other jabs – such as BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca – already require two jabs. 

People in Germany are seen as fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose. 

What about boosters?

As The Local Germany has been reporting, the German government said in December that people who’ve had J&J need a third shot three months after their second dose to be considered boosted.

A German Health Ministry spokesman told us last week that due to more vaccination breakthrough infections affecting people who’ve had the J&J vaccine, extra protection was needed.

“Therefore, after completion of the basic immunisation as recommended by STIKO, i.e. after administration of two vaccine doses (preferably 1x J&J + 1x mRNA), following the current recommendation of the STIKO, a further booster vaccination can subsequently be administered with a minimum interval of a further three months, as with the other approved Covid-19 vaccines,” the Health Ministry spokesman said. 

However, there has been much confusion on this front because some states have been accepting J&J and another shot as being boosted, while others haven’t.


It is unclear if the new regulation will mean that states will all have to only accept J&J and two shots as being boosted. 

North Rhine-Westphalia, for instance, updated its regulations on January 16th and now requires that people who’ve had J&J and one shot have another jab to be boosted. 

Having a booster shot in Germany means that you do not have to take a Covid-19 test if you’re entering a venue, such as a restaurant or cafe, under the 2G-plus rules.

The Paul Ehrlich Institute said that proof of complete vaccination protection against Covid takes into account “the current state of medical science”.