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HEALTH

EXPLAINED: How to book an appointment for the Covid-19 vaccine in France

As France opens up its Covid-19 vaccination programme to all adults, here is how to go about booking your appointment.

EXPLAINED: How to book an appointment for the Covid-19 vaccine in France
You can book online, by phone or with your doctor or local pharmacist. Photo: AFP
From Monday, May 31st, France opens up its vaccine programme to all adults, but booking is now open to everyone, so that those not in priority groups can find a reservation from Monday onward.
 
There are several booking methods;
  • Online 
  • Medical apps (Doctolib, Maiia and KelDoc)
  • By phone
  • Via GPs or family doctors 
  • Pharmacies 
  • Via apps that search all the different platforms and list the free appointments nearest to you 

Online

The government’s website Sante.fr is now taking appointments.

Photo: French government

When signing up, users will have to enter the name of their town or city, to get a list with the vaccination centres closest to them.

Medical apps

The medical apps Doctolib, Maiia and KelDoc are all available for vaccine appointments.

Doctolib is already widely used to book other types of appointment including regular doctors’ appointments and Covid tests.

It is available on both both iPhones and android. Once you have downloaded the app you will need to register with your details plus an email address and phone number.

You can then click on the vaccination section and make an appointment. You will be offered a list of vaccination centres which can also be viewed on a map to find the closest with available appointments.

By phone

The number to call is 0800 009 110.

Before May 31st

To book an appointment for before May 31st, you will need to be either;

  • Over the age of 50
  • A healthcare or emergency worker or home helps working with vulnerable groups. This vaccination is arranged through the employer
  • A close family member or co-habitee of a person with a compromised immune system
  • With co-morbities including diabetes, hypertension or a BMI above 30. Find the full list HERE. If you fall into this group there is no need to get a prescription from your doctor, a simple declaration that you have one of the listed illnesses is sufficient.
  • Able to find an unfilled appointment slot within the next 24 hours

After May 31st

If you see a free appointment for after May 31st you can book it, regardless of your age (as long as you are over 18), occupation or state of health.

Struggling to find an appointment slot?

Despite reports of ‘vaccine hesitancy’ in France, the biggest problem for most people has always been getting an appointment. Although the number of appointments has been greatly increased, many people still report struggling to find an appointment near them. 

The website Vite Ma Dose ! (Quickly My Dose!) is set up to help people find an appointment slot near them – find out more here – while people who are not yet in eligible groups can sign up via the website Covid Liste for alerts on unfilled appointments or spare doses near them.

For people searching for last-minute appointments there is Chronodoses, an offshoot of Vite Ma Dose ! – here is how that works.

READ ALSO What to expect at your Covid vaccine appointment 

At the appointment

Before getting the injection, medical workers will ask everyone to fill out a health questionnaire and a consent form.

Explaining the process, Health Minister Olivier Véran said: “A doctor, or any other carer, will ask you a few questions and you will asked to fill out a very simple self-questionnaire, which will just aim to verify that you can be vaccinated in the usual fashion.”

READ ALSO What to expect at your vaccine appointment 

You will be asked about health conditions, allergies and, for women, whether you are pregnant.

You will also be asked if you have tested positive for Covid in the last three months. People cannot be vaccinated until three months after their recovery, but then will only need one dose of the vaccine.

A doctor, nurse, pharmacist, midwife, firefighter or paramedic will then give the injection.

After the vaccine, everyone will be asked to stay for 15 minutes, in case of any side effects, before going home.

The second dose of the vaccination will be given six weeks after the first if you had Pfizer or Moderna or 12 weeks after the first for AstraZeneca and you make the second appointment immediately after getting the first dose. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not require a second dose.

Any side effects should be reported to [email protected] or to your own doctor.

You will need to take a piece of ID with you to the appointment.

READ ALSO: The French vocab you need to get the Covid vaccine

How much?

The vaccine is free to everyone.

Carte vitale

People who live in France but have not yet fully registered in the French health system and received their carte vitale can still be vaccinated.

“Seeing as this is a public health issue, unregistered people as well as those in a very precarious situation can get vaccinated for free,” the health ministry told The Local, referring to a government decree published on December 31st.

Several readers have reported to us that when they turned up to vaccine centres or pharmacies without a carte vitale it caused a certain amount of confusion among staff, who were unsure whether they were eligible.

We suggest that people who do not yet have the card take with them proof of their residency in France and if necessary point staff to the decree linked to above.

Which vaccines

There are four vaccines currently licensed for use in France – Pfizer and Moderna which are licensed for all age groups and AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson which are licensed for over 55s only.

Member comments

  1. We’re expats, Offical residents of France but have chosen not to join the French medical system I was vaccinated yesterday but there was a delay because we didn’t have a carte vitale. The question is “How to I prove in the future that I have been vaccinated?”

  2. My husband was vaccinated yesterday and our experience is not as you describe. We booked on doctolib.fr, and at the time of booking you were required to choose a time on a specific date provided by them for the second vaccination. He needed his carte vitale and his carte de sejour or passport. He filled out no questionnaire. He was examined by a doctor, who was training another doctor, and was then passed on to the nurse for the injection. She spent a lot of time reading the paperwork and then did the jab. He then waited 15 minutes and was given a certificate to say that he had been vaccinated with the Moderna drug and how many ml – 5.
    I am told by a French friend who insists that I who am not quite 75 but with a condition can make a rendez-vous without visiting my doctor and getting a letter from his. Hope this helps.

  3. Booked mine by phone today; web site said nothing available in foreseeable future. Only one downside, the appointment is for 29 April !

  4. My doctor has given me a letter of authority to receive the vaccination based on my condition. I booked the two dates on doctolib, via santé.fr, as doctolib directly didn’t have any availability. I entered my department as Haute-Vienne (87) buy have been able to book in Corrèze (19) for early February and March. I’ve been in France nearly three months, so not yet able to apply to the health system. I’ve heard several people say they’ve been refused without a carte vitale, despite what the ministry state. Hopefully, this will be resolved soon.

    1. I’m wondering how you’ve been accepted to have the vaccine without the Carte Vitale while there are a lot of french people who have a carte vitale who can’t get an appointment ? Is France your secondary residence ?

  5. Instead of playing God get the bloody vaccine out to everyone that wants it. I’ve got to wait until April. Let nurses etc administer it in supermarkets etc instead of making it hard to get, which is typical French. Other countries can do this why can’t France?

  6. Try the site Vite ma dose
    It is excellent, put in your department number and it will bring up all the places that have vacancies. Then you book via doc lib or whichever site the place is using. It is brilliant

    1. During the epidemic, a wave of attacks against Asians has continued. In recent months, angry Asians have gathered in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles to stage a nationwide march against Asian violence and hate, chanting slogans such as “Asians are not the virus” and “Rumors of the epidemic are the virus. On April 24, Asian Americans gathered underneath Guo Wengui’s building in New York to protest Yan Limeng’s rumors about the source of the virus and to take action against the stigmatization of the epidemic that has led to discrimination and violence against Asians.

  7. I made my way into the nearest pharmacy and asked for the Covid-19 booster dose, made an appointment within days and received it free of charge and without carte vitale! Only showing my passport as proof of identity. I had received the first and second doses in England.

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HEALTH

First suspected case of monkeypox reported in France

France reported its first suspected case of monkeypox on Thursday, after cases of the virus were reported in several neighbouring countries.

First suspected case of monkeypox reported in France

A first suspected case of monkeypox in France was reported in the Paris area on Thursday, the country’s direction générale de la santé has said, two weeks after a first case of the virus in Europe was discovered in the UK.

Since that first case was reported on May 6th, more than 30 other cases have been confirmed in Spain, Portugal, the UK, Sweden, Canada and the USA.

Here we explain what is known about the viral disease.

Why is it called monkeypox?

The virus was first identified in 1958 in laboratory monkeys – which is where the name comes from – but rodents are now considered the probable main animal host.

It is mainly observed in isolated areas of central and western Africa, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said, with the first case in humans reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Why is it in the news?

Monkeypox does not usually spread beyond Western and Central Africa. It is the first time, for example, it has been identified in Spain or Portugal.

It is believed the relaxing of Covid-19 travel rules have allowed the virus to spread further than usual.

The first case in the UK was reported on May 6th, in a patient who had recently travelled to Nigeria. But in the eight cases reported since, several had no connection to each other, and none had recently travelled, prompting experts to believe a number of cases have gone unreported.

Scientists are now working to find out if those cases are linked. 

What are the symptoms?

Initially, the infected patient experiences fever, headache, muscle pain, inflammation of the lymph node, backache and severe fatigue. Then pimples appear, first on the face, then in the palms of the hands and on the soles of the feet. The mucous membranes of the mouth, genitals and cornea may also be affected. 

It has been described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as similar but less serious than smallpox. In most cases, symptoms disappear in two to three weeks and the patient makes a full recovery.

There are two known strains of the virus: the more severe Congo strain and the West African strain. UK cases reported to date have been the West African strain.

How is it transmitted?

Monkeypox is most often transmitted to humans by infected rodents or primates through direct contact with blood, body fluids, or skin or mucous membrane lesions of these animals. 

Human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through respiratory droplet particles during prolonged contact. But contamination can come from close contact with skin lesions of an infected individual or from objects, such as bedding, recently contaminated with biological fluids or materials from a patient’s lesions.

More severe cases are related to the length of time patients are exposed to the virus, their state of health, and whether the virus leads to other health complications. 

Young children are more sensitive to this virus.

Can it be treated?

There is no specific treatment or preventive vaccine against monkeypox – and the huge majority of patients recover fully with appropriate care.

Smallpox vaccination was effective in the past at also providing protection from monkeypox, but with that disease considered eradicated, people are no longer vaccinated against it, which has allowed monkeypox to spread once again. 

Should we be worried?

Experts have said that we’re not going to see the virus reach epidemic levels.

“There is no evidence that human-to-human transmission alone can maintain monkeypox in the human population,” the WHO has said.

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