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Vaccinations in France

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

In France, the country's medical authorities encourage receiving some vaccinations while others are required, but what exactly is the vaccination schedule and what is covered by health insurance?

All people living in France have access to vaccines, and the government of that country offers a variety of information on preventative medicine and immunizations. On the other hand, differentiating between immunizations that are required and those that are advised could be difficult. Read this guide to get familiar with the most essential facts about vaccines in France.

The history of immunizations was significantly impacted by France's contributions. In China around the 10th century, preventative inoculations were used to defend against smallpox. However, Louis Pasteur invented the modern notion of vaccination in the 19th century, and after that, vaccinations became an essential component of current medicine.


COVID-19 in France

Everyone has had a rough time during this period of the COVID-19 epidemic. A significant number of people who go abroad find themselves cut off from their friends and loved ones back in their native country. As a foreigner, it might be difficult at times to discover essential information on the prevalence of coronavirus infection, local measures and limits, and now, luckily, vaccines. Vaccinations are now available.

Please visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) website to get information on the overall coronavirus situation in France, including vaccination regimens and the most recent restrictions.

Consult our guide on the COVID-19 pandemic in France if you would need information specifically about how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts France.


The French vaccination system

The history of vaccination in France is reflected in the fact that there are vaccines that are both required and recommended in the country. Before the development of immunizations against diphtheria, tetanus, or poliomyelitis, these illnesses were veritable epidemics that were responsible for the deaths of several thousand children in France every year. As a direct consequence of this, the government of France took decisive action and mandated its use by all children residing inside the nation.

The French Ministry of Health and the Haute Autorité de Santé (the High Authority of Health) work together to determine, on an annual basis, the vaccines that French citizens are required to get, based on their age.

The health care system in France is among the most advanced and advanced in all the globe. Read up on the healthcare system in France if you are interested in learning more on this topic.


Insurance for vaccinations in France

Whether or not vaccines are covered by your health insurance depends on the vaccine itself, the medical practitioner that you see, or the facility where the immunisation is administered.

Both the consultation and the vaccine itself are partially covered by public health insurance if they are administered by a medical professional, such as a physician, a nurse practitioner, or at a health care facility.

If the immunisation is administered by a nurse based on a prescription from a doctor, then 60% of the expenses will be paid. In most cases, supplemental health insurance will reimburse the remaining sum. Complete coverage for vaccines is provided to those who have specific long-term conditions, and full coverage for immunizations is provided to pregnant women beginning in the sixth month of their pregnancy.

In addition, commercial health insurance firms in France may provide coverage for vaccines that is more inclusive than the government's programme. In France, individuals may choose coverage from a broad range of different private health insurance firms, such as the following:

● Allianz Care

● Cigna Global

Free immunizations are offered to women who are pregnant, children under the age of six, and those who get their shots at a vaccination facility.


Vaccinations for children in France

All children who were born on or after January 1, 2018, are required to get vaccinations against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, whooping cough, Hemophilus influenzae b, hepatitis B, meningococcus C, pneumococcus, measles, mumps, and rubella.

Tuberculosis has been present since birth. The BCG vaccination should be given to children who are considered to be at high risk of acquiring TB.

● 2 months: Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, poliomyelitis (also known as polio), invasive infections caused by Hemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and whooping cough (first dose).

● 4 months: Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, poliomyelitis (also known as polio), invasive infections caused by Hemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and whooping cough (second dose).

● 11 months: Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, poliomyelitis (also known as polio), invasive infections caused by Hemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and whooping cough (booster).

● 12 months: Invasive meningococcal infections; measles; rubella; and/or mumps; and/or rubella. Measles, mumps, and rubella between the ages of 16 and 18 months (second dose).

● 6 years: Whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, and poliomyelitis (sometimes known as polio).


Between the ages of 11 and 13, children should get vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, and poliomyelitis (polio) (third booster).

You may get more information on the vaccination schedule and its yearly updates by consulting the Institut Pasteur. Additionally, you can verify with your French doctor or directly with the institution.


COVID-19 immunisation in France

Vaccinations against COVID-19 may be obtained everywhere in France, and they are provided to all inhabitants free of charge. You may schedule a vaccination appointment online, over the phone, with your primary care physician, at a facility of care, and even, in certain situations, at your place of employment.

Visit our guide to COVID-19 in France to learn more about the pandemic in France, including vaccination schedules and actions taken by the government, and to find out more information about the COVID-19 virus.


Vaccinations for special groups in France

In addition, the French authorities in charge of public health advice that people who are 65 years old or older undergo immunizations against several diseases:

Booster shots for diphtheria, tetanus, and poliomyelitis are recommended at age 65, and then every 10 years after that.

Vaccination against seasonal flu should be administered annually to everyone aged 65 or older.


Zona: One vaccination is given to those aged 65 to 74 years old.


If significant changes are occurring in your life, you should see a health professional before beginning any immunization program.


Travel vaccines in France

Check with a French embassy or a consulate in your region before going to France to see if any vaccination requirements must be met to enter France; these requirements may vary based on your nationality.

Before departing on any vacation, check to see that your usual immunizations are up to date. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, and polio vaccination are all included in this group. In addition to that, get vaccinated against the flu each year.

Before you go, you should see your physician about the immunizations and medications you will need. Your doctor will also give you advice depending on the location you will be going to, how long you will be gone, and the weather conditions you will encounter.

Rabies is prevalent in bats in France. Thankfully, HPV does not pose a significant threat to the vast majority of tourists. Despite this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise being vaccinated against rabies for anybody who will be venturing into the great outdoors or into isolated places where they may be exposed to bat bites.


Useful resources

● Schedule of Immunizations Provided by the European Center for the Prevention and Control of Disease

● Schedule of Immunizations Provided by the Institut Pasteur

● Insurance for healthcare in France is supplied by the state

● Information Service Regarding Vaccinations (in French)


The vaccination schedule in France is quite comprehensive from the moment a child is born, and it includes a broad range of different immunizations, including the following:


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