What you need to know about France’s 2020 flu vaccination campaign

Always an important part of the medical calendar, the seasonal flu vaccine campaign has taken on a new importance this year. Here's what you need to know about getting vaccinated in France.

What you need to know about France's 2020 flu vaccination campaign
Photo: AFP

France has increased by 30 percent its order of flu jabs this year and is set to launch a major campaign to get people vaccinated with the aim of avoiding flooding hospitals with both flu and Covd-19 patients this winter.

So here's what you need to know.


The campaign officially starts on Tuesday, October 13th and runs until January 31st, although health authorities are advising people to get vaccinated early before the flu begins to circulate.


The following groups are strongly recommended to have the jab

  • Over 65s
  • People with chronic or long-term health conditions
  • People with a BMI of 40 or over
  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with those who cannot be vaccinated, including babies and those who are immunocompromised

Health workers and carers are also recommended to be vaccinated, although anyone who wants the jab can get it.


Doctors, nurses and midwives are all able to administer the vaccine and from 2019 it is also possible to get the jab in some pharmacies.

People identified as being in high risk groups will be contacted advising them to get the vaccine, they will be sent a voucher which can be taken to the pharmacy to exchange for a vaccine.

If you fall into one of the risk groups but have not been contacted, you can still make an appointment to get the vaccine. Children under the age of 18 will need a prescription from their doctor, but adults do not.

Pharmacies which have staff trained to administer the vaccine will have posters in their window advertising this service.

How much?

The vaccine itself is €6 and if you have it administered by a doctor or nurse you will need to pay for an appointment at the usual rate – usually €25 for a doctor's appointment. The vaccine is refunded 100 percent via your carte vitale and the cost of the appointment is refunded at 100 percent for people in the high risk groups where the jab is recommended. Those who are not in a high risk group will have their appointment cost refunded at the standard rate.

Which vaccine?

“For the first time, in addition to orders from pharmacies, we have secured state orders and we have 30 percent more vaccine doses than in previous years,” health minister Olivier Véran said in a speech to the French Senate.

“We must be extremely careful with the vaccination of vulnerable groups and caregivers.”

The vaccines Influvac Tetra and Vaxigrip Tetra are being offered in France this year.

France's government advice page states: “The vaccine is safe and has few, if any, side effects (most often mild and short-lasting local reactions, more rarely fever, muscle or joint pain, headache).

“It cannot give the flu because the viruses in the vaccine are not alive.”
French vocab
La grippe – flu
Le vaccin – vaccine
Les personnes fragiles – people in high-risk groups
Les effets secondaire – side effects 
Indice de masse corporelle (IMC) – Body mass index (BMI)



Member comments

  1. Either you are wrong re. “what you should know about the flu vaccine “, or my doctor’s office is wrong . I have just been told that when I receive my voucher for the vaccine I must take it to my doctor for it to be ‘stamped ‘- i.e. authorised – before I take it to the pharmacy. Which is correct ?

  2. I have been having the flu jab in France for seventeen years. Never have I had to have the voucher stamped. I take it to the pharmacy, receieve the vaccine, which I take to the cabinet medicale to have the injection from the nurse. I can also choose to have the injection from the pharmacist.

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What changes in France in July 2022

Summer's here and the time is right for national celebrations, traffic jams, strikes, Paris beaches, and ... changing the rules for new boilers.

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer holidays

The holiday season in France officially begins on Thursday, July 7th, as this is the date when school’s out for the summer. The weekend immediately after the end of the school year is expected to be a busy one on the roads and the railways as families start heading off on vacation.

READ ALSO 8 things to know about driving in France this summer


But it wouldn’t really be summer in France without a few strikes – airport employees at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports will walk out on July 1st, while SNCF rail staff will strike on July 6th. Meanwhile Ryanair employees at Paris, Marseille and Toulouse airports will strike on yet-to-be-confirmed dates in July.

READ ALSO How strikes and staff shortages will affect summer in France

Parliamentary fireworks?

Prime minister Elisabeth Borne will present the government’s new programme in parliament on July 5th – this is expected to be a tricky day for the Macron government, not only does it not have the parliamentary majority that it needs to pass legislation like the new package of financial aid to help householders deal with the cost-of-living crisis, but opposition parties have indicated that they will table a motion of no confidence against Borne.

Parliament usually breaks for the summer at the end of July, but a special extended session to allow legislation to be passed means that MPs won’t get to go on holiday until at least August 9th. 

Fête nationale

July 14th is a public holiday in France, commemorating the storming of the Bastille which was the symbolic start of the French Revolution. As usual, towns and cities will host parades and fireworks – with the biggest military parade taking place on the Champs-Elysées in Paris – and many stores will remain closed.

As the national holiday falls on a Thursday this year, many French workers will take the opportunity to faire le pont.

Festival season really kicks in

You know summer’s here when France gets festival fever, with events in towns and cities across the country. You can find our pick of the summer celebrations here.

Paris Plages

The capital’s popular urban beaches return on July 9th on the banks of the Seine and beside the Bassin de la Villette in northern Paris, bringing taste of the seaside to the capital with swimming spots, desk chairs, beach games and entertainment.  

Summer sales end 

Summer sales across most of the country end on July 19th – unless you live in Alpes-Maritimes, when they run from July 6th to August 2nd, or the island of Corsica (July 13th to August 9th).

Tour de France

The Tour de France cycle race sets off on July 1st from Copenhagen and finishes up on the Champs-Elysée in Paris on July 24th.

New boilers

From July 1st, 2022, new equipment installed for heating or hot water in residential or professional buildings, must comply with a greenhouse gas emissions ceiling of 300 gCO2eq/KWh PCI. 

That’s a technical way of saying oil or coal-fired boilers can no longer be installed. Nor can any other type of boiler that exceeds the ceiling.

As per a decree published in the Journal Officiel in January, existing appliances can continue to be used, maintained and repaired, but financial aid of up to €11,000 is planned to encourage their replacement. 

Bike helmets

New standards for motorbike helmets come into effect from July 1st. Riders do not need to change their current helmets, but the “ECE 22.05” standard can no longer be issued – and all helmets sold must adhere to a new, more stringent “ECE 22.06” standards from July 2024

New cars

From July 6th new car models must be equipped with a black box that record driving parameters such as speed, acceleration or braking phases, wearing (or not) of a seat belt, indicator use, the force of the collision or engine speed, in case of accidents.

New cars II

From July 1st, the ecological bonus for anyone who buys an electric vehicle drops by €1,000, while rechargeable hybrids will be excluded from the aid system, “which will be reserved for electric vehicles whose CO2 emission rate is less than or equal to 20g/km”.

What’s in a name?

Historically, the French have been quite restrictive on the use of family names – remember the concern over the use of birth names on Covid vaccine documents? – but it becomes easier for an adult to choose to bear the name of his mother, his father, or both by a simple declaration to the civil status. All you have to do is declare your choice by form at the town hall of your home or place of birth.

Eco loans

In concert with the new boiler rules, a zero-interest loan of up to €30,000 to finance energy-saving renovations can be combined with MaPrimeRénov’, a subsidy for financing the same work, under certain conditions, from July 1st.

Rent rules

Non-professional private landlords advertising properties for rent must, from July 1st, include specific information about the property on the ad, including the size of the property in square metres, the area of town in which the property is in, the monthly rent and any supplements, whether the property is in a rent-control area, and the security deposit required. Further information, including the full list of requirements for any ad, is available here.

Perfume ban

More perfumes are to be added to a banned list for products used by children, such as soap-making kits, cosmetic sets, shampoos, or sweet-making games, or toys that have an aroma.

Atranol, chloroatranol (extracts of oak moss containing tannins), and methyl carbonate heptin, which smells like violets, will be banned from July 5th, because of their possible allergenic effects.

Furthermore, 71 new allergenic fragrances – including camphor, menthol, vanilin, eucalyptus spp. leaf oil, rose flower oil, lavendula officinalis, turpentine – will be added to the list of ingredients that must be clearly indicated on a toy or on an attached label.

Ticket resto limits

The increased ticket resto limit ended on June 30th, so from July 1st employees who receive the restaurant vouchers will once again be limited to spending €19 per day in restaurants, cafés and bars. The limit was increased to €38 during the pandemic, when workers were working from home.