France to shorten the gap between doses of Covid vaccines

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France to shorten the gap between doses of Covid vaccines
French Health Minister Olivier Veran administers a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to a patient, at the vaccination centre in Montrouge, on May 11, 2021, as he takes part in the Covid-19 vaccination campaign as a doctor. (Photo by Thomas Padilla / POOL / AFP)

France's health minister has announced a narrowing of the gap between doses of the vaccine as the country battles to get as many people as possible fully vaccinated ahead of the spread of the Delta variant of Covid.


Health minister Olivier Véran announced on Tuesday a new policy for the second doses of Covid vaccines.

Instead of waiting six weeks for the second dose, people will be able to book a second appointment between 3 and 7 weeks after the first.

Véran tweeted: "Are you hesitating to get vaccinated in June because you will be on holiday in July? Don't hesitate any longer. We are changing the appointment system to allow you to schedule your booster between 21 and 49 days after the 1st injection."



There was no date given for when the new system will be in place, but people who have booked their appointments via the DoctoLib app already have the option to log in to the site and change the date or time of any appointment, including vaccine appointments.

It was later clarified that the change affects the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines - Pfizer makes up the vast bulk of vaccine doses given in France - and not the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The change comes as France battles to get as many people as possible fully vaccinated quickly before cases of the Delta variant first detected in India spread.

READ ALSO Delta variant: Should France be worried about a spike in cases as seen in the UK?

Véran, on a visit to a vaccine centre in Paris on Tuesday, revealed that this variant now makes up two to four percent of new cases in France.

He added: "You will say that this is still a small number, but that was the situation in England a few weeks ago."

Research from the UK shows that while both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines give a high level of protection against the Delta variant with two doses, protection from a single dose is much lower - around 30 percent for Pfizer and less for AstraZeneca.

There is also concern over whether France can keep up the pace of its vaccine programme over July and August, when French people traditionally take summer holidays and head to the coast or the countryside.

France has already hits is target to have 30 million people vaccinated with at least one dose by June 15th and the next target is to have offered the vaccine to all adults who want it by August 31st.


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Anonymous 2021/06/17 00:05
That didn't go well today, I booked the second vaccination through Doctolib for my son 21 days later and was told this was not allowed according to the vaccination centre in Meymac, and if I did not change it to 4 weeks they will not vaccinate! I told them just leave it, soon you'll be updated about the latest rules,, I am better informed than the locals, lol

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