Reader question: Can I get a Covid booster dose whilst visiting France?

Health worker prepares a booster dose of Moderna vaccine. Tourists will struggle to access booster doses in France.
Health worker prepares a booster dose of Moderna vaccine. Tourists will struggle to access booster doses in France. (Photo by GEORGES GOBET / AFP)
With governments around the world stressing the need to get a Covid booster jab as cases soar some readers have been asking us whether they can get it whilst in France on holiday or at their second home.

I plan to visit France in January at the same time as I am supposed to get a booster shot in my home country. Will I be able to get this dose at a vaccination site in France? Do they check your nationality? 

You don’t need to be a French national to get vaccinated. You don’t even need a carte vitale, a card which gives residents access to the French health system. 

But in theory, you do need to have proof that you officially live in France to access a booster shot. 

This even applies if you are a national of an EU country like Ireland and carry an EHIC card. 

The French Public Service website declares: “A foreigner or homeless person can get vaccinated in a vaccination centre even if they don’t have a carte vitale“. 

READ ALSO: Can you get a booster dose in France without a carte vitale?

But since this guidance was published, France’s social security website Ameli clarified that this rule applied only to those who are officially living in France and that tourists or people on short stays in France were not included and the cost of the vaccination would not be covered by state health insurance.

In order to get vaccinated without a carte vitale, you must bring some proof of ID, ideally your residency permit and proof of your French address such as a utility bill.

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Although booking an appointment online without a carte vitale pay prove problematic. If you wanted to get a booster dose specifically, you would also need to bring proof of having previously received vaccinations as is the case for all those who get a third jab in France.

There are no doubt individual cases where tourists or non-residents on short stays in France have managed to get an initial Covid vaccination or booster shot perhaps with the help of locals or friendly pharmacists.

But ultimately, if you are keen to get a booster dose but will be in France at the time when your shot is due, the wisest thing is either get your dose upon your return to your home country or reschedule your trip. 

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