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LATEST: When will you be eligible for the Covid vaccine in France?

From Monday, May 31st all over-18s in France will be eligible for a Covid vaccine. Until then, here's how the priority groups work.

LATEST: When will you be eligible for the Covid vaccine in France?
People queue outside a vaccination centre in Cayenne on May 2nd. (Photo: Jody AMIET / AFP

France initially followed a strict priority order with the most vulnerable vaccinated first, but has gradually opened up vaccinations to more and more groups until on Thursday prime minister Jean Castex announced the opening of vaccines for all from May 31st, two weeks earlier than initially scheduled.

France has four available vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna for all age groups and AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson for over 55s only.

Eligible now

The groups who are currently eligible for the vaccine are:

  • Over 50s  
  • People under 50 with underlying health conditions eg diabetes, hypertension of a BMI of above 30 
  • Under 50s who are close family members or co-habitees of someone with a compromised immune system
  • Staff and residents at Ehpad nursing homes
  • Health workers, emergency workers and home helps working with vulnerable groups

People under 50s with a health condition do not need a prescription to get the vaccine, or provide proof of their medical condition, a simple ‘declaration’ will suffice, the health ministry has said. 

READ ALSO How to book an appointment for the Covid vaccine 

Over-18s may sign up for last-minute, leftover doses through the medical platform Doctolib (info below).

Healthcare workers, emergency workers and domestic and home helps who work with vulnerable groups can access the vaccine via their employer.

Many people in eligible groups reported long delays in getting an appointment, or even a complete shortage of appointments in some areas, but there is a website dedicated to helping people find appointments near them – find out more here. People not in eligible groups can also sign up for alerts on ‘spare’ doses left over at the end of the day.

READ ALSO: How to book a ‘last-minute’ vaccine slot

May 24th

Vaccine open to all over 18s in priority professions.

These professions are;

  • Teachers, teaching assistants and staff in nursery schools or crèches
  • Non-teaching staff working in schools, nurseries or universities (including catering and maintenance staff)
  • Support workers for families or people with disabilities
  • Child protection professionals
  • Staff in emergency accommodation
  • Police officers and police civilian staff
  • Security guards
  • Prison and probation staff
  • Military personnel
  • Drivers including bus drivers, taxi drivers, HGV drivers and delivery staff (including postmen/women)
  • Staff on ferries or other boat transport
  • Public transport inspectors
  • Cleaning and maintenance staff 
  • Waste collectors or people who work in waste processing or sewage processing centres or water treatment works
  • Anyone employed in food retail including supermarket cashiers and shelf-stackers, pâtissiers, bakers, butcher and greengrocers
  • Tobacconists 
  • Anyone working in the hospitality sector including staff and mangers at hotels, cafés and restaurants
  • Funeral home and mortuary staff
  • Staff at food processing plants, slaughterhouses or meat processing plants 
  • Veterinary public health inspectors
  • Labour inspection officers
  • Anyone working in the events industry
  • Anyone working in a sports centre or gym
  • Employees of air or sea transport companies which travel to high-risk areas

May 28th

Pharmacies and GPs begin injecting the Moderna vaccine, two pharmaceutical unions told French media. So far Moderna and Pfizer, both mRNA vaccines and difficult to store, have been available in vaccination centres only. 

The government hopes that rolling out Moderna for use in the country’s many pharmacies and with GPs will help speed up the effort to reach herd immunity, but also increase trust in the vaccine. 

May 31st

All over 18s will be eligible for the vaccine from May 31st, two weeks earlier than the scheduled date of June 15th. There will be no prioritising of certain jobs or living situation.

Trouble finding an appointment?

Being in an eligible group is just half the battle, many people report a severe shortage of appointments, especially for those in rural areas. You can find the different options to book an appointment HERE and there is also a site aimed at finding people their nearest appointment – find it HERE.

Those who are not in eligible groups can sign up HERE to get alerts on ‘spare’ doses or unfilled appointments in there local area.

Foreigners living in France are entitled to a vaccine, even if they are not registered in the health system and don’t have a carte vitale – find out how HERE.


France’s overall target is to have offered the vaccine to everyone by either August 31st, according to Health Minister Olivier Véran, or the slightly more vague ‘end of the summer’ according to President Macron.

The goal was to reach 10 million first doses by mid April – reached one week early – then 20 million by mid May and 30 million before the summer.

Member comments

  1. There seems to be a vague promise by the government that “Keyworkers and those whose job puts them at high risk of exposure such as teachers, retail staff and public transport employees” may receive the vaccine sometime in Spring. Surely anyone working in an area that places them “at high risk” should be receiving their jabs now, along with the health and emergency workers. Especially teachers who are exposed daily to large numbers of young people and a lack of hygiene supplies. All so that parents can go to their jobs and keep Macron’s economy functioning.

  2. So with Macron wanting 5% of vaccines to go to African countries, with my medical centre having lost 7 doctors over the last year, vaccines being scarce in my area and being in the 65-74 age group with no health problems. I’ve arrange for my funeral for sometime in March. What a bloody farce.

  3. Tarquin … and who will attend your funeral?
    The article mentions diabetes … 1 or 2; VERY different animals.

  4. I now live in Paris but used to live in the UK. And I am still signed into the NHS. Yesterday, I received a text from the NHS in London saying I could make my vaccination appointment. When I looked there were appointments on offer for Sunday, Feb 21, Monday Feb 22 and so on throughout the coming weeks. It’s pretty disgraceful this isn’t happening in France. We have a national health system here, just like the UK. Everyone should be mad as hell.

  5. Chez Moi I couldn’t give a damn who will attend my funeral as I will be dead and non the wiser. All my American friends in Martin County Florida have had their vaccines and just went to Publix the supermarket chain to get it without any hassle. Why the hell does France have to make everything so bloody difficult for their citizens.

  6. The whole EU has made a complete pigs ear of the Vaccine Rollout to the extent that many smaller EU nations (e.g. Hungary)are now sourcing the own supplies of vaccine from Russia and China and who can blame them. The whole fiasco is the gift of the century for British brexiteers! This is France!!!

  7. I so much agree with the comments of others – even now we are seeing that the programme is still falling behind the pathetic state it was when it started . Over 65’s were supposed to be “March” and now its mid-April, don’t hold your breath. Its impossible to fathom why when petrol prices go up people are killed in the streets and now when people continue to die needlessly due to incompetence its Tant pis!

  8. So now it’s the vague term “mid April”. A lot of us could be dead by then or perhaps that’s what they are hoping for. Start vaccinating in supermarkets like they do in the States but what will stop that are the petty restrictions placed by the pharmacy associations. It’s bad enough not being able to buy an Aspirin in a supermarket so having a vaccination has no chance.

  9. Agree that those in ‘front line’ and health jobs (any age) need to be prioritised and encouraged. But so many mixed messages… Are some people being a bit too fussy about which vaccine they get? Some say there are vaccines available, other reports that there are shortages. Is it a regional problem? Have the numbers of vaccine-hesitant people reduced? Uptake and availability has certainly increased over the last few weeks. After all the stories I wasn’t hopeful when I rang my GP on Monday, but got my first vaccination on Wednesday – no problems – with second shot booked for June! Happy to get AZ (55+ / 94).

  10. So they open up under 55 by mid June, that group is larger than any previous group. Forget getting a timely appointment than…. Strange…. Beside the fact that a 54 year old is at higher risk than a 22 year old, despite both being healthy.

  11. 法轮功大纪元的巨额资金从何而来?法轮功支持特朗普的意图在哪?

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France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25

Free birth control for all women under 25 will be available in France from Saturday, expanding a scheme targeting under-18s to ensure young women don't stop taking contraception because they cannot afford it.

France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25
A doctor holds an interuterine contraceptive device (IUD) before inserting it in a patient. Photo: Adek Berry/AFP

The scheme, which could benefit three million women, covers the pill, IUDs, contraceptive patches and other methods composed of steroid hormones. Contraception for minors was already free in France.

Several European countries, including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, make contraception free for teens. Britain makes several forms of contraception free to all.

France announced the extension to women under 25 in September, saying surveys showed a decline in the use of contraception mainly for financial reasons.

The move is part of a series of measures taken by President Emmanuel Macron’s government to boost women’s rights and alleviate youth poverty. The free provision is supported by women’s groups including the association En Avant Tous.

“Between 18 and 25-years-old, women are very vulnerable because they lose a lot of rights compared to when they were minors and are very precarious economically,” spokeswoman Louise Delavier told AFP.

Leslie Fonquerne, an expert in gender issues, said there was more to be done.

“This measure in no way resolves the imbalance in the contraceptive burden between women and men,” the sociologist said.

In some developed countries, the free contraception won by women after decades of campaigning is coming under attack again from the religious right.

In the United States, former president Barack Obama’s signature health reform, known as Obamacare, gave most people with health insurance free access to birth control.

But his successor Donald Trump scrapped the measure, allowing employers to opt out of providing contraception coverage on religious grounds — a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2020.

Poland’s conservative government has also heavily restricted access to emergency contraception as part of its war on birth control.