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

Reader question: Can I choose which Covid vaccine I get in France?
Is there a choice of vaccine types for eligible groups? Photo: 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.

(article continues below)

See also on The Local:

Member comments

  1. 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?

  2. 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….!!!!

  3. 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.

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.