Reader question: Can I choose which Covid vaccine I get in France?

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 12 Apr, 2021 Updated Mon 12 Apr 2021 17:40 CEST
image alt text
This picture shows syringes filled with a dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on a tray, at the medical officeof doctor Marie Msika Razon in Paris on February 25, 2021. - Private practitioners in France started vaccinating vulnerable patients between 50 and 64 at their medical offices on February 25, as part of a new stage in the country's Covid-19 vaccination campaign. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)

As France opens up its vaccine programme to more eligible groups, we've been asked whether there is a choice of the type of vaccine you get.


Question: I'm 70 so I have this week become eligible for the Covid vaccine - how do I find out which vaccine I will get and can I choose?

There are four Covid vaccines currently licensed for use in France - Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

First of all you need to be in an eligible group, which is done on a strict priority order.

Groups currently eligible are;

  • Residents and staff in Ehpad nursing homes
  • Healthcare workers, emergency workers and domestic or home helps working with vulnerable groups
  • Over 55s
  • People of any age who have a serious health condition such as cancer or transplant patients

You'll also need to book an appointment, which has proved challenging in some areas with a shortage of available vaccine slots - this website can help.

People who are not in an eligible group can sign up to receive alerts on 'spare' vaccine doses or unfilled appointments in their local area. 

READ ALSO How to book an appointment for a Covid vaccine in France

Who gets which vaccine?

Unlike Germany, which offers a choice when booking, vaccines in France depend on your age group and appointment location.

AstraZeneca is only licensed in France for people aged between 55 and 74, so anyone over 75 or younger than 55 will get one of the other brands. People under 55 who had an AstraZeneca shot before the age guidance changed will receive a different vaccine for their second dose.

Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are all licensed for all age groups in France.

Vaccine centres are largely using Pfizer and Moderna, with some doses of AstraZeneca also used in the large 'vaccinedromes' such as the Stade de France.

Family doctors and pharmacies are mostly using AstraZeneca and, from April 12th, the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but some Pfizer doses are also used in a community setting where they have storage capacity.





The Local 2021/04/12 17:40

Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

ajmassey_297798 2021/04/13 12:07
I am 69 and have hypertension. I know I am eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine, but I do not want it. Will the Pfizer vaccine be available for people like me in the future?
philip.guarino 2021/03/04 14:02
I would love it if someone could explain exactly how to get on the list... despite the fact that I can speak and read French this has to be the most convoluted process ever. I do fall into one of those groups but finding out how to go about getting it... it's Kafkaesque....!!!!
francesinprovence 2021/03/03 19:04
We live in the Vaucluse. I'm 79 and my husband is 83. It took six and a half weeks of going online and phoning before we were able to book an appointment. We were then told we had to wait another three and a half months before our first vaccine. That date is the 31st May. Given the choice we would jump at the chance to have the Astrazeneca jab.

See Also