Fact check: Can you get a Covid-19 vaccine without an appointment in France?

Fact check: Can you get a Covid-19 vaccine without an appointment in France?
People waiting for their appointments at a vaccination centre. Photo: Bertrand Guay | AFP
According to Health Minister Olivier Véran, you can simply walk a French vaccine centre and get your dose "within 10 minutes" - but is it right that you don't need an appointment?

“You have 1,500 centres waiting for you, you can go without an appointment,” Véran said on Tuesday. “If you go there this morning and say, ‘I want to be vaccinated’, you have every chance of being vaccinated within 10 minutes or 15 minutes.”

A day earlier, he had tweeted a similar message, saying “Hesitation, wait-and-see, and fear of the vaccine are exposing all of us to the variants. Get vaccinated, with or without an appointment.”

However, it’s not every vaccine centre that operates a walk-in policy.

Generally speaking, anyone who wants to be vaccinated needs to make an appointment, which can be easily done online. The advice is to check whether a centre offers walk-in vaccinations before turning up unannounced. 

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

However it’s also true that this is in the process of changing and more and more sans rendez-vous (no appointment) vaccines centres are opening up.

There’s also a concerted effort to make vaccines easy to access, so sites are being set up in supermarkets, shopping malls or in smaller town centres when the market is on.

And if you’re watching the Tour de France, you will see a ‘vaccine truck’ following the route – a mobile vaccine centre that offers the jab to race spectators without the need for advance booking.

There are also centres set up targeting hard-to-reach or vulnerable groups, such as in homeless shelters, soup kitchens and charity outreach centres.

ALSO READ: What lies behind the slowing of vaccination rates in France?

Other temporary centres have opened up in recent weeks.

For example, football fans could be vaccinated in the Paris suburb of Poissy (Yvelines), while the round-of-16 match between France and Switzerland was taking place. Pity anyone getting their jab during the penalty shootout…

The CHU hospital at Limoges offered walk-in vaccinations for four days, while the Bordeaux-Lac Exhibition Centre offered a similar service on afternoons between June 24th and 27th – and the town of Colmar has offered a week of walk-in vaccinations.

A drive-through vaccination centre has opened for five afternoons a week across two weeks at the Aubrais train station (Loiret). It is hoped it will be able to inoculate 2,400 people a week. 

For now, such examples are the exception rather than the rule – but it seems they will become more common over the summer, as the push to maintain and improve vaccination rates continues.

ALSO READ: Does it matter if your French Covid vaccination certificate is in your maiden name?

“The development of walk-in slots is a national goal,” a spokesperson for the direction générale de la santé told Franceinfo – but added that it was ‘not yet possible’ to ‘draw up a consolidated assessment of the walk-in system.


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  1. Yes. I just walked into my chemist, asked if they had the Vaccine Janssen, they said yes and did I want it now. Twenty minutes I was driving home. It took longer to scan the code into my phone and set up the TousAntiCovid application

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