COVID Vaccine help - Urgent

Hello all, I found this useful sight today, thanks to all who contribute and to anyone who may be able to help. I am desperate for help, I have severe heart failure, awaiting transplant. Am at high risk of severe complications from covid and have had to shield since March 2020.

I’ve been in France for 2.5 years, my french isn’t great to say the least. I am having huge problems getting a vaccine that I’ve been entitled to since January. The problem being I cannot take the Pfizer as it’s not offered to people who have had anaphylactic shock from medication. Additionally I have had other severe cardiac allergic reactions to everyday antibiotics so my Gp here has requested that I only receive the Moderna vaccine and it must be administered at a hospital. I have the prescription, a referral letter to any hospital but 3.5 months later still no vaccine.

Local hospital didn’t respond to GP for request for assistance and sent me invitation after 2 months for Pfizer vaccine :weary: A request was then made after I chased GP for weeks to have the vaccine at CHU Montpellier (which is where I receive cardiac care) There was no response. I asked Gp to request assistance from the cardiac unit at CHU. They referred us to the vaccine Center at CHU, we called for weeks and Gp finally got a replay and sent all the documents to them with a promise to call / email appointment with one 24 hours. That was 2 weeks ago. Gp all but given up and I don’t have the language skills to chase myself. Services Social locally have no one who speaks any English, they refer me to Beziers who say it’s out of their area and can’t help…

To add to complications I have untreated cataracts in both eyes (caused by heart medication) I’m 46 so this is very troublesome for someone my age. I cannot read anymore and have to use Siri (dictation) to compose anything. I cannot have the surgery for fix my eyes until I’ve been vaccinated though. I’m pretty stuck!

I’ve contacted the British embassy, who have been in contact yet nothing has really helped. I just keep having appointments made for me to have a vaccine that isn’t offered people with history if anaphylactic / blood clots.

I’m really hoping the good folk here have some suggestions or ideas.

Apologies for format / spelling due to failing eyes. Thanks very much in advance and have a good evening.


Blimey, sounds terrible Mark.
Would it be easier for you to get treatment in the UK, even if it means quarantine ?

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@mpjr16 Hi Marc and welcome to SF
A small administrative matter if I may please. Can you amend your registration to show your first and last names as per site T&Cs. If you have an problem doing that, just post the information here and @cat will make the amendment for you.
As a fellow heart issue sufferer I can empathise with your problem. The good news seems to be (announced by the French Govt earlier this week) that Moderna will be available at some pharmacies and GPs from 28th May.
Whilst you say that you have to have the vaccination at a hospital, the fact that more is going to be available could be of some help to you in achieving this.
Is the requirement for the vaccine at a hospital for monitoring purposes after its given? It may be worth having a word with your local pharmacie to see what they can offer in this respect and to get yourself on their waiting list at least.
Your local mairie should be able to connect you with their visiting assistante sociale since there may be may other things/benefits you might be entitled to on which they can advise.
Has your GP applied to CPAM for an ALD (Affection Longue Durée) status for your heart condition? This will open up other avenues of help (such as transport etc).
Good luck with all of that and keep us posted as to your progress.

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Have you asked your Mairie to put you in contact with the Assistante Sociale? They are sometimes well connected to be able to get things moving.

And have you been in contact with the patient groups for heart failure sufferers? In French, but you can make contact by email so Deepl translate or google could help if you don’t have someone who will translate for you.


Sounds very stressful, and the length of time shielding must be problematic!

Good luck.

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Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

Have you looked at Vite Ma Dose to see if you can get an appointment that way?

Also, as Graham asks could you complete registration - if your eyesight is making that difficult I am sure @cat would be able to help.

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Chatting to Vanessa, there is a FaceBook group called Pumping Marvellous (which is also a UK charity with a website where you can get information in English which might be of help and provide useful information. We have found it to be so useful and whilst it is UK based, there are English members in the FB group who live in France who could be useful in providing guidance.

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and this translated reference from La Parisien

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Unfortunately, ViteMaDose doesn’t let you filter by vaccine type, which is somewhat of a difficulty if you are partially sighted as you would have to get the screen reader to read out each and every result in the list for the postcode / locality entered.

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Ah, that’s a pain.

Still might be useful for anyone else struggling to get an appointment.

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I used it to get mine this morning, so definitely useful :+1:


Sounds a terrible Catch 22 situation and I feel for you. As others suggest I would go to the Mairie and/or local (small) pharmacy. Is there someone in your village/town who speaks English and can translate for you? In a situation such as yours I’m sure someone would be happy to accompany you and translate. The Mairie would know who might help. Good luck!!!

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But he said he needs to have in a hospital (I presume means with resus equipment to hand). A pharmacy is unlikely to want to take risk with a patient in heart failure!


Vitemadose does tell you which vaccine is being used once you see the site though.

It does sound like hospital location is needed. Pfizer and Moderna both work the same way. With a bit of googling it seems there are reports of anaphylactic with Moderna too (although fewer). Astra Zeneca works a different way. I am not sure about the Johnson&Johnson/ Janssen one. I am guessing allergies / anaphylactic shock risk - plus possible contraindications with existing medicines - is making this one very tricky too. It seems more is being learned all the time.

If it was me I would be doing what you’re doing - hiding whist trying to get into the care of a cardiac unit of a major hospital using the suggestions the other posters are making. Knowledge available is changing all the time.

This is why I and my neighbours here are having the vaccine even though we are generally anti-vacc - to try to stop Covid circulating so people who need other medical help can get treated.


Good for you! I wish more people felt community minded like you.


Good evening, many thanks to all who replied. I will respond in reverse order as it will mean less overlap and less dictation :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks again

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Hi Karen, Thats correct they both can cause anaphylactic but Moderna less so, the Oxford vaccine isn’t offered to people my age so I cannot get that one. Also it has been noted to cause blood clotting which I am at very high risk off already so that’s off the list too. The Janssen offers the lowest protection of all the vaccines around 67 percent, which is very low for people of high risk, also it has been noted to cause clotting.

Sure is tricky, one of the heart meds I take actually increase the likelihood of allergic complications to medication but unfortunately it is needed and there isn’t an alternative that works for me. Yes I’m fully locked away other than shopping that unfortunately I have to do because there’s no help. I go as late as possible so I see as few people as possible which is counterintuitive as I really want to see people while out.

Thank you for your last comment, good to know there are good folk around getting vaccinated selflessly. Here there’s been no mask wearing outdoors, people kissing and hugging in stores, and virtually no distancing, it’s worrying.

Hi Jane, spot on, it is because I need full resuscitations equipment and a team available when taking new meds or vaccines. Such is my sensitivity to medications. The anaphylactic episode I had while having my defibrillator installed at the royal Brompton in London was so severe I was in a coma for 3 days. The surgeon said afterwards that the only reason I survived was because I was in theatre and had I been on the ward I wouldn’t have. A GP or pharmacy won’t touch me with a vaccine that I know, which is why they want it done where I could get the help if needed.

Hi Caroline, thank you. Help as been requested from the town hall a number of times but they do not reply, not even to the embassy as yet, they are open they just don’t seem to want to help? I have contacted them via email and letter sent recorded and requested a response but nothing. I don’t know anyone really in the village, and no one who speaks English. Its very hard to meet people while in isolation, the best I can do is look out for anyone speaking English while in at a supermarket for example but as I said I go at the quiet time just before closing. Thanks for the good luck.

Hi Alex, thank you. I’m not familiar with the site as yet but will take a look. I have tried to search for a site where I can specify a vaccine type at a hospital but failed so far, I think they may have others but the sites look to have just been developed to select a Pfizer vaccine first and second only. Yes and running a site through chrome with translation enabled there is no reader view, on safari there is now translation but if running this the reader view is disabled also, short of translating each line which would be impossible with vision issues I’m stuck.

Hi Graham, thank you. I am aware of PM, also BHF. I accessed there sites a lot after my diagnosis in 2017, also at the start of the pandemic but not a lot since as my eyes struggle a lot. I will take another look though to see if reader view works, I run my MAC though a fifty five inch tv, in dark mode, it helps on some sites but others not, it just makes the problem bigger, bigger double vision :upside_down_face: Thanks again