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

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Reader Question: Can I get a third Covid booster shot in France?
A nurse prepares a dose of a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus disease Covid-19 on January 12, 2022. (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP)

After France made second booster doses available to all groups, some wondering whether they could qualify for a third booster, using the new dual-strain vaccines.


Question: I'm in my 70s and I had my second booster back in the summer but now I see that the new dual-strain vaccines are available - should I be getting an extra booster with the new type of vaccine?

French health authorities launched the autumn booster campaign on October 3rd includes newly authorised 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.

It was followed by the seasonal flu vaccination campaign in mid October.

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

As of November 28th, 9.4 percent of the over-80s and 7.2 percent of the 60-79s had received a new injection, representing two million doses distributed since October 3rd, when the fall campaign went into place.


On December 9th, French government officials, such as Minister of Health François Braun announced that the second booster should be available to all groups, not just vulnerable people.

With a significant amount of the eligible population having already received a fourth vaccine, many are wondering whether they will be eligible for a fifth (or third booster), specifically one in the new dual-strain vaccine format.

According to Virginie, a representative from HAS - France's health authority - the organisation "no longer thinks in terms of doses for high-risk people and immunocompromised patients."

Specifically, the HAS recommends that a new injection be given - and if possible one of the dual-strain vaccines - "regardless of the number of injections received up to now".

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Who qualifies for a second Covid vaccine booster in France?

However, French health authorities specified that the additional booster should "respect the minimum recommended time between two doses."

"This depends based on your profile - for people aged 80 and over, residents of nursing homes or long-term care units (USLD) and those who are immunocompromised, the wait-time is three months between jabs. For the others, the delay is set at six months."

For those who have already been infected by Covid-19, the HAS recommends that if you are eligible for a second (or third booster) that the additional dose "is still recommended, with a minimum delay of three months after infection."



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