Getting the vaccine in France

I received my first dose of AstraZeneca today. The process illustrates the randomness of how this is being done. Read on for a description, if you are interested. If not, skip to her bottom where there will be champagne.

There is simply not enough vaccine in France to protect all those at risk. The situation is so dire in Nice that we are in weekend lockdown. This has turned out to be a good thing for me as Nice was given a supplemental allotment of vaccine.

In France as a whole, no one under 75 can get any vaccine unless they have a serious risk factor (what the French call “co-morbidités”). Any over 75 can get the Pfizer vaccine but there is not much available. They are not allowed to get the AstraZeneca, which is in greater supply but until last week, only available to those between 50 and 65 with co-morbidités. Last week, the government filled the donut hole of those between 65 and 75, allowing us to take AstraZeneca, but only those with co-morbidités.

I was scheduled to see my GP on Monday where I planned to throw myself on his mercy and beg him to write me a prescription, citing any co-morbidité he chose. Happily, on Thursday evening at 9:30, I got a text from the ville de Nice saying they had received extra supplies of AZ and would be vaccinating this weekend anyone in the 50-75 age group who wanted it. Yay! I immediately signed up, which was a good thing because they sent the text to 50,000 people and only had slots for 8000. They were gone in an hour.

The vaccination itself was well organized and I was in and out within a half hour, including the obligatory 15 minute post-shot wait. The major downside of AZ from what I have read, is that the protocol calls for the second dose in 10-12 weeks. So I will not have full protection before June. Still, better than nothing.

And now for the promised champagne. Yesterday, we had a Covid birthday celebration on my terrace. Since I only get full sun until noon, this meant 4 of us drinking 2 bottles of champagne for breakfast. Needless to note, I did not get anything else done yesterday.