Hello all.

Curious if anyone has had any issues with vaccinating their children due to the difference between the French and UK immunisation timescales?

We moved to France when our eldest daughter was two. She had had all of her vaccinations to the 13 month stage, which involved the three stage Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping cough and Meningitis jabs.

In the UK she would then have been due a fourth booster vaccine for this between the age of 3 and 5years. I have mentioned this on a number of occasions to our local doctor who is very adamant that this should be done at 6years, in line with the French system, and that there are no risks to her from insufficient immunisation.

However, when I took her to another doctor the other day, he was most concerned by this as he believes she not only is under immunised but, due to this, the booster shot at 6years old will not work. He therefore prescribed for a two stage re-immunisation process which involves one jab and then a break of one month before the 2nd. He says that this is the correct resolution and is often carried out in France as many parents forget to get their children vaccinated correctly (here they do not have the same written reminder service we do with the NHS - you just have to remember!)

Do any of you out there have any experience or advice on what i should do?

this is awesome and i need to read it properly when I have my little girl Thula going thru the process of first jabs, she is due her last lot of jabs (4months) in a few weeks so I need to look into this PMI place, cheaper than the docs!

Will look on franglais kids too...thankyou x

We're parents!

Gosh! Thank you all for your time and advice - what a helpful bunch you are! I think in future I will put all of life's conundrums on here for you to solve.

In short, I have put off the re-allignment vaccinations for the moment and made an appointment at the PMI - Thank you Tracy.

It helps to know that the issue is in fact more flexible than I thought in terms of the dosage and timescales (thank you Ben and Brian) and I feel well armed with information now.

I have found your comparison table of UK & France really useful Suzanne and will take it along with me - thank you.

It has been also really comforting to know that we are not the only Franglais family out there with the same issues (although possibly in the Haut-Doubs?).

Many thanks!

Great. Somebody recently arrived and is just finding her feet - dealing with primary school at present but she will ultimately have some of this in her lap. I'll get her to join SFN and look at Franglais Kids especially.

I've posted a comparison table from UK Red book to France Carnet de Sante (Herault) on Franglais kids.

Suzanne, could you put the schedule up on Franglais Kids as a discussion too. It may help a lot of people.

In fact, the whole immunisation programme for the entire world follows WHO guidelines. Whilst there are variances in vaccine and timing, adjustment is not at all difficult. As I said when I answered the first time, there is a margin for manouevre deliberately built in for all eventualities. Looking at some WHO things I have here I would objectively say that in 90% of cases a year is too long but three months does not matter one little bit and up to six months late or early is tolerable. Unfortunately, the programme I have here is designed for Cambodia and Laos and the vaccines very different but the times the same except MMR which they have as 2 and 3 years respectively. There is a database of schedules and all of France follows a single programme exactly but there are some possible variances in vaccines depending (for instance) on availability. It is non downloadable and I am using my (no longer valid!) UN ID to get into it but there is almost certainly a public version if you really want to go looking. However, I would concur with Suzanne. Our nine year old has finally been brought into line with polio jabs in the last couple of weeks and I think they now have it all lined up after three years here. Our 11 year old only needed one tweak. They are moaning a bit because neither has had MMR but then we were stuck in the middle of the debate amongst people doing child studies at the time so we chose to err on the side of greater safety - if we were wrong, well it is done.

Hi - I've posted a comparison table of UK & France official vaccination schedules on Franglais kids.

The differences in timing and number of vaccinations are caused by the actual number of doses i.e. amount of vaccine in each injection. Friends of ours from the Netherlands had moved to France with their kids and encountered the same problem. But based on the dosages already administered to the kids the French pediatre calculated what was additionally needed to get them in line with the French program. There is a small risk involved when when the UK program prescribes a certain number of vaccinations with a lower dosage over time where the French system prescribes less vaccinations but with a higher dosage. But I would certainly advise you to go see a pediatrician and pay the 31 euros for the consultation...

By the way, there is no difference in timing of vaccinations in different departments of France, it's a national program. If a kid does not have the required shots when f.e. entering the school system they will basically not be allowed to enter. What does differ are some vaccines that are highly recommended / obligatory in only some major cities like the Paris or Marseille region.

Left an answer on Franglais Kids, but Tracy is giving good advice too. She has reminded me, your GP (médecin traitant) gets you to things you need but is not the font of all wisdom and can get such things quite wrong. So stick with the child specialists.

P.S. gentle reminder to upload a photo - would be great to see you xx

Hi Emma,

Yes!! But the opposite way round. My 2 eldest were born in France and so had the French vaccine schedule

After birth BCG

2 Months diphtérie, tétanos, poliomyélite, coqueluche, haemophilus influenza b, pneumococcique (Pn7).

3 Months diphtérie, tétanos, poliomyélite, coqueluche, haemophilus influenza b

4 Months diphtérie, tétanos, poliomyélite, coqueluche, haemophilus influenza b

1 year MMR or (Rougeole, les oreillons, la rubéole (ROR) as it's known in France

2 years MMR

I'm following the French system for Maisy (my 3rd) but this causes problems whenever we go to see a UK GP (we are living between UK & France at the moment but intend to return permanently to France next year so I want to keep them on the French schedule). The UK tried to insist that Izzy needed her MMR earlier than she was due in France & in fact insisted they should give it her when I was on a check up for some other allergy. I resisted but I keep getting hassle about their vaccines not being up to date. The UK told me they would have to redo Izzy's (my 2nd) vaccines as they are not exactly the same as the French ones. Again I resisted and I'm sticking with the French system.

So truth is...they are not exactly the same vaccines and the timings are different but don't be too worried - as Tracy says all departments in France are probably different schedules anyway!

My 3rd was born in

Hi Emma,

What a worry - i don't know about UK jabs but what I did when my kids were small (they're only 5 & 8 now) was take them to the PMI - Protection Maternelle and Infantile, look it up in the phone book. They are specialist child doctors (not necessarily pediatricians) and nurses and look under children under 6 so are well up on what injections/boosters are necessary and do on. You visit them for free, they will prescribe the injections and so on then inject them for you, you just have to pay for the vaccine which is reimbursed.

something to note is that vaccinations will vary in different areas, most don't prescribe meningitis around here but when we lived in Chamonix our doctor insisted on it as apparently it is more prevalent in the UK. Her basis was that as Chamonix was very international it was more of a risk! She also insisted that I had a whooping cough jab as it is routinely given to 'jeunes mamans' (new mum but literally ' young mother')in France - I so loved being called a jeune maman at the age of 40! Nice change from the gynae who was constantly reminding me of my age!