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COVID-19 VACCINES

When will my French health pass deactivate?

The French health pass - in use since the summer to access venues including bars and restaurants - now requires a booster shot in order to keep it activated. Here's the timeframe for different groups.

A French official checks the validity of a health pass.
A French official checks the validity of a health pass. The window for adults to receive a booster dose before their passes are deactivated will soon shrink to four months. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP)

Current timeframe for deactivation 

Booster shots are already a requirement for people over 65 and those who received the single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine who want to continue using the health pass. 

People over 65 who received two doses of either AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer vaccine are eligible for a booster dose after three months have passed since their last shot (the waiting time has been brought down from four months). They must receive a booster within seven months of their last shot for their health pass to remain activated. 

If you received a single dose of the Janssen vaccine, you become eligible for a booster one month after your initial injection. If you don’t get a booster dose within two months of your last injection, your health pass will be deactivated. 

These rules apply equally to those vaccinated in France and tourists, visitors or others vaccinated outside France.

Changes in January 

From January 15th, booster shots will also be required for people aged between 18 and 65 who want to continue using the health pass. 

Those who have received two doses of either AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer vaccine are eligible for a booster dose after three months have passed since their last shot. They must receive a booster within seven months of their last shot for their health pass to remain activated. 

The government is seeking to transform the health pass into a vaccine pass by mid-January, meaning that holding a negative Covid test will not be a valid substitute for vaccination when it comes to gaining entry into existing health pass venues. 

Changes in February 

From February 15th, anyone over 18 will have to receive a booster dose within four months for their pass to remain active.

Eligibility will continue to start at three months since the previous vaccination.  

This will leave all adults with a one month period in which to receive a booster before the pass expires. 

If for example, you received your second dose on January 3rd 2022, you will become eligible for a booster on April 3rd 2022 and must get the shot before May 3rd 2022 or your pass will be deactivated. 

Other useful information 

If you are still confused, there is a simulator to tell you when your health pass will be deactivated.

No matter what age you are, if you have proof of having tested positive for covid, this can be integrated into the TousAntiCovid app where the health pass is digitally stored and counts as receiving one dose of AstraZeneca/Pfizer/Moderna vaccine. 

Booster doses are currently open to those aged 12-17 who are immunodeficient, suffer from a serious illness or have other co-morbidities. Some public health officials have argued in favour of systematically vaccinating this age group with booster shots. Currently, they are not required for this 12-17 year olds  as a condition for holding a valid health pass. 

After you receive a booster, your health pass does not update automatically. It is up to you to scan the QR code on the vaccination certificate into the TousAntiCovid app. 

READ MORE How to get a Covid-19 booster dose appointment in France

If your health pass is deactivated because you failed to receive a booster, it is easily possible to reactivate it by getting the required dose. 

If you were vaccinated on the NHS in the UK, you will need to download a new NHS code every 30 days and scan it into the app for the health pass to remain active. 

If you are over 65, you do not need to book an appointment to get a booster dose. You can simply walk into any vaccination site and you will be given priority. 

TousAntiCovid app users will receive a notification when you become eligible for a booster shot and a further notification when your pass is set to expire. 

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Member comments

  1. Am I correct in thinking that once you have had your two vaccinations and a booster, no further vaccination is required at present and our health passes remain active?

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Reader Question: Can I specify the dual-strain vaccine when getting my Covid booster in France?

At-risk populations in France are eligible for a second Covid-19 booster shot, but many are asking whether it is possible to specifically request one of the new dual-strain vaccines when booking.

Reader Question: Can I specify the dual-strain vaccine when getting my Covid booster in France?

Question: I am qualified, by age and by time elapsed since my first Covid booster, for a fourth shot. But I want to make sure that my fourth shot will be one of the new dual-strain vaccines. Is this possible?

French health authorities launched the autumn booster campaign on October 3rd, which includes newly authorised bivalent (dual-strain) vaccines – such as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine adapted to BA.1, the Moderna vaccine adapted to BA.1, and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine adapted to BA.4/5 – which are designed to combat the Omicron variant.

France’s health authority, the Haut Autorité de Santé said in a press release on September 20th that “the expected clinical efficacy of these new dual-strain vaccines is at least equivalent or even superior to that of the original vaccines.”

READ MORE: When, where and how to get flu shots and Covid boosters this autumn in France

So is it possible to specify when booking that you want the dual-strain vaccine?

The Local spoke with representatives from the French ministry of health, who specified on Friday that “dual-strain (bivalent) vaccines will be injected as a priority during the autumn campaign in accordance with the HAS recommendations.”

For those who are eligible to renew their booster dose, it is therefore “not necessary to specify that they want a bivalent vaccine, since we will have enough doses for the entire target audience.”

France’s General Health Directorate told the Journal des Femmes that the two most commonly used vaccines for its fall campaign are “the Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.4-5 vaccine (by Pfizer) and the Spikevax bivalent Original/ Omicron BA.1 vaccine (by Moderna).”

Data for the last two weeks show that of the 112,409 people in France who received a second booster dose, 77,715 were vaccinated with the new Pfizer dual-strain vaccine, and 34,694 were vaccinated with the new Moderna Omicron-adapted product – meaning that everyone got a dual-strain vaccine.

You can find the whole list of those who are eligible for a second (or third) booster HERE.

READ MORE: Reader Question: Can I get a third Covid booster shot in France?

Additionally, health authorities have been recommending that anyone who is eligible should receive their booster shot. 

Before the dual-strain vaccines were authorised, French health authorities recommended at-risk groups to receive booster vaccines as soon as possible, rather than waiting for the availability of the Omicron-adapted jabs.

“For people at risk, either the elderly or those with co-morbidities, it is necessary to give the fourth dose as long as the virus is circulating, and therefore as of now,” infectious diseases specialist Anne-Claude Crémieux told Le Parisien over the summer.

Crémieux added that vaccines not-adapted to Omicron subvariants have also “been proven to be effective against severe forms of the disease”.

If you have already had a booster with the original vaccine and now want an additional dual-strain booster this is possible, although you must wait either thee months (if you are over 80 or the resident of a nursing home) or six months (for other at-risk groups) after your most recent booster.

Additionally, TF1 reported on Friday that Santé publique France (France’s public health agency) was calling for an intensification of the ongoing vaccine campaign, because only 30.4 percent of 60-79 year olds had received their second booster dose as of October 10th, and only 37.7 percent of over 80s – the group most vulnerable to severe forms of Covid-19 – had received their new booster. 

France is currently seeing a continued rise in cases amid the eighth wave of Covid-19, and the number of new positive cases rose by 13 percent in one week, as of October 11th.

Santé publique France referenced this during its weekly bulletin, saying that “the circulation of Covid-19 – and hospital admissions – continue to increase throughout metropolitan France.”

“Given the current situation and the diminished adoption of preventive measures, vaccination must be reinforced, in particular by a booster with a bivalent vaccine,” the agency wrote.

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