For members


Reader question: I’m over 65 but not yet eligible for a booster, can I still use my French health pass?

French president Emmanuel Macron has announced a change in the rules for Covid vaccine booster shots, making them a requirement for the health pass for all over 65s, but what about those over 65s not yet eligible?

Health passes will start to deactivate for over 65s.
Health passes will start to deactivate for over 65s. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

Question: I’m 67 but I had my second vaccine dose in France August, so I can’t have the booster until February. Does this mean that I won’t be able to use my health pass from December 15th?

In his speech on Tuesday evening, Macron announced the expansion of the booster programme to over 50s, but also linked the booster shot to the health pass for the first time.

He said: “From December 15th, you (over 65s) will need to provide proof of a booster shot to extend the validity of your health pass.”

But what does this mean for people not yet eligible?

More detailed was provided on Wednesday morning by government spokesman Gabriel Attal, when he appeared on France Info.

He clarified that after December 15th, the health passes of over 65s will automatically be deactivated six months and five weeks after their last shot.

So people not yet eligible do not need to worry about their health pass suddenly ceasing to work, but once you do get to that six-month window, you have just five weeks to book an appointment and get the new vaccination certificate.

Once you become eligible you can book directly with a vaccine centre, GP or pharmacy, there is no need to wait for an invitation.

Other groups are also currently eligible for the booster shot including health workers, those with health conditions and close contacts of the immunodeprived, but their health passes are not dependant on getting the booster, essentially because this is too complicated for organise.

You can find full details of how the booster shot programme works HERE.

The above information relates to residents in France, The Local has raised the question of tourists and visitors aged over 65.

Member comments

  1. I just dread having to go through the process again of validating USA vaccine health pass for my booster shot, I am 60 and already had my third shot , but am worry because we are in France from Dec 14 through Jan 2 , we have our health pass from the French government, any chance they will invalidate our health passes by then?

  2. I’m glad to see the emphasis on the booster shots.

    I’m a US citizen with a second home in France. We were able to get our pass sanitaires in the summer from our local pharmacist. My husband and I are both over 65 and will be back in December for several weeks, and it will be more than 7 months since our second shots. We’ve both had our boosters.

    We’re hoping that our village pharmacist can update our pass sanitaire, since we’re already in their system, even if they are not yet part of this new program for implementing the pass sanitaire for foreigners.

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France approves new vaccines for Covid Omicron sub-variants

France's health authority said Tuesday it had approved three new vaccines against the prevalent Omicron sub-variants of the Covid-19 virus, in a bid to prevent a jump in infections as colder weather approaches.

France approves new vaccines for Covid Omicron sub-variants

The so-called “bivalent: shots, approved by the European Medicines Agency earlier this month, target the BA.1, BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, now responsible for the bulk of new cases since the outbreak began worldwide in early 2020.

French authorities are urging at-risk patients — including those over 60 or adults with pre-existing conditions — to get the bivalent vaccines as part of its booster campaign.

“The number of infections has again started rising in the past few days,” the HAS health authority said, noting that the BA.5 sub-variant was causing the most new cases.

The new vaccine targeting the highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 types is made by Pfizer and BioNTech, while jabs from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are for BA.1.