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Covid Booster to Enter France

I received the single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine in May 2021. I understand I need a booster to enter France at the start of my trip on April 3rd. I have read conflicting reports on the validity of a booster shot to enter the county. (For instance, the booster must be given no later than four months after the final dose.) I have a vaccination scheduled for Friday. Will I be able to enter the country without issues?

Posted by
27434 posts

There was confusing information published a little while ago about the French rules concerning boosters. It has now been confirmed that France doesn't care about the gap between your initial vaccinations and your booster once you have the booster. From that standpoint, it seems you will be OK.

What I cannot comment on is the single J&J + booster situation, (as opposed to a two-shot initial sequence + booster) since I've mainly been reading news in terms of what it means for me personally (3 times Moderna). I hope someone else can comment on that with confidence.

I assume you plan to get a Pfizer or Moderna booster?

Posted by
2595 posts

The French require 3 shots, the last, the booster must be a mRNA vaccine. If you have only received the J & J shot, you still require 3 total. Once your received shot 2, you are entry qualified for 9 months. 9 months after the 2nd shot, to enter France, you must have the final booster.

https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/covid-19-international-travel

As long as the pass vaccinal is still required, to enter cafés, restaurants, museums, concerts, or to board an Intercité train or TGV, the shot protocol is the same but the grace period between dose 2 and the booster is reduced to 4 months.

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/actualites/A15121?lang=en

Posted by
27434 posts

Tocard, does Greg need to worry about a waiting period before the second shot "counts" as far as France is concerned? I mean, does he need to get it more than 14 days before departs for (or lands in) France?

Posted by
2595 posts

Yes, the mRNA booster is qualifying, 7 days after it is received.

Posted by
1170 posts

The way I am reading this, you need three shots, the last of which is an mRNA. So if I got a single J&J vaccine last year, but no booster yet, can I get a 2nd J&J and be good for nine months? Without yet getting an mRNA shot?

Posted by
2595 posts

To my knowledge, there is no J&J shot recognized as a booster to a J&J first shot. If you have a recommendation from the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organization that a second J&J shot provides the same protection as a second Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca, then you should be OK with a second J&J, but to my recollection, I no longer have a link, the 2nd shot must be from one of the 2 dose vaccines.

Posted by
9891 posts

PharmerPhil -- no.

If you don't have an mRNA, they aren't going to let you in.

Posted by
12 posts

It's my understanding that I need to get a SECOND booster because France seems to be requiring that a booster is less than 4 months old.
Here is what I pulled off the US State Dept Web site today. Hope this is helpful.

"HEALTH PASS / VACCINE PASS: As of February 15, vaccine passes for people age 18 and older will expire four months after their second dose (two months after the sole dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). A booster shot of an mRNA vaccine is required to keep the pass active or revalidate an expired pass. The booster shot is considered effective seven days after it is received. For more information on the Vaccine or Health passes, see Vaccine Pass/Health Pass under the Movement Restrictions section below.
All people age 18 and older now need a COVID-19 booster shot between three (3) and four (4) months after their second COVID dose to keep their health pass active.  Booster shots are available to all adults living in France age 18 and above beginning three (3) months after they became fully vaccinated. Vaccinations for children age five (5) and older opened December 22, 2021.   People who do not receive a booster before four months can still get a booster shot and reactivate their pass; in this case, the booster is valid seven days after the shot."

Posted by
8238 posts

This is not the case. the 4 mos thing was designed to get the French to get the danged booster -- their pass expires afterf 4 mos if they don't get their booster. It has no application to foreign visitors who just need to have the booster. You don't need a booster every 4 mos. (no country is administering a booster every 4 mos)

The French statements are pretty confusing on timing. It appears that if one has J&J they only need one dose to be considered fully vaccinated and then the additional booster to be considered fully vaccinated after some time has passed. It does not appear that one needs three shots -- but the original course of vaccinations plus the booster. Two shots for Pfizer and Moderna and one for J&J -- and then one booster of MNRA vaccine.

So if I had the J&J I would not assume I need two more shots without doing some more digging because it appears to not be the case.

Posted by
8654 posts

Re: J&J - that's the way I understood the link upthread: 1 + mRNA booster. Maybe the US was unique in allowing mixed boosters. If someone had J&J and a second J&J as a booster, they might be out of luck.

Posted by
8238 posts

yes there is no question that the booster has to be MNRA so a second J&J would not suffice.

Posted by
2595 posts

So if I got a single J&J vaccine last year, but no booster yet, can I get a 2nd J&J and be good for nine months?

The French did not recognize the single dose J&J vaccine as qualifying for the pass sanitaire, once the second doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca became available. At that time, those receiving a J&J vaccination were required to obtain a second dose within 5 months of receiving the original single shot J&J.

Une dose additionnelle est nécessaire à la validité du pass sanitaire obtenu par injection du vaccin Janssen. Sauf dans certains cas de contamination au Covid-19. En tout état de cause, une dose de rappel devra être effectuée 5 mois après la dose additionnelle ou l’infection.

The second shot, for those who had received J&J, was required to be from one of these vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.

Une dose additionnelle d’un vaccin à ARN messager (Pfizer-BioNTech pour le public de tout âge ou Moderna à compter de 30 ans) doit désormais être administrée

https://www.editions-tissot.fr/actualite/sante-securite/pass-sanitaire-ses-conditions-de-validite-en-cas-d-injection-du-vaccin-janssen

As things developed last year, and the booster, 3rd shot, became available and required for the now named pass vaccinal, those who had initially had the J&J vaccine, then the ARN messager 2nd shot, now must receive the mRNA booster, just like everyone else.

Thus, the French do not recognize a second J&J shot as completing the original shot sequence. Anyone receiving only the J&J shot must have a shot from one of the ARN messager vaccines to qualify for entry into France. Within 9 months of that second shot, he must have the mRNA booster to remain entry eligible.