Vaccinees no longer considered as contact cases, according to Jean Castex

Published by Julie M., Laurent P., Alexandre G. · Published on July 24, 2021 at 11:27 a.m.
As vaccination has opened to all since May 2021, more and more French are fully vaccinated! But should vaccines still have to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone infected with Covid-19? Not anymore, according to Prime Minister Jean Castex who announced this Wednesday July 21 self-isolation was no longer compulsory. Olivier Véran is to tell more on the matter in the afternoon.

Although since May 31, 2021 vaccination is open to all, volunteer French have been able to book an appointment to get vaccinated the very same day or the next day since May 11, 2021. To date, 32,334,110 people have been given all necessary doses of vaccine. Are they yet fully vaccinated?

What does fully vaccinated mean in France?

To be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, you need to get all doses of vaccine: 2 doses for the AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, and one dose for the Janssen vaccine by Johnson & Johnson, but you also need a certain period of time to have passed since the last dose to allow your immune system to develop immunity against the disease. Therefore, for AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, allow 14 days from the second dose and 28 days after the single-shot for Johnson & Johnson.

Does being fully vaccinated prevent from catching Covid?

Although being fully vaccinated protects against severe coronavirus, vaccination does not prevent contamination. Therefore, vaccinees can still catch Covid-19 and pass it to their entourage, whether they are vaccinated or not. Moreover, vaccination is not an exact science and is considered that:

  • Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 94 to 95% effective – according to clinical trials and real-life data,
  • AstraZeneca vaccine is 62 to 80% effective – according to clinical trials – and 94% effective in real life,
  • Janssen vaccine is 93% effective – according to clinical trials but there are no real-life data yet.
Vaccine does not prevent from contamination but dramatically cuts it down, according to the latest studies.

Can you be a contact-case although fully vaccinated?

Yes, no vaccine is 100% effective, and you can be a contact case although fully vaccinated. Moreover, vaccines currently marketed protect from severe disease but do not prevent from catching Covid-19. Once vaccinated, you are less likely to be hospitalized or develop complications or coronavirus-related symptoms, but you can carry the virus and transmit it.

But, this Tuesday July 20, 2021, French Health Minister Olivier Véran says "the rules might evolve in the event of contact cases". For vaccinees, in the event they are named contact case of someone not living in their household, they can be exempted from self-isolation and no longer considered as contact cases. "When you are fully vaccinated, you are no longer contact cases although you have been in contact with someone sick", the Minister explains.

Should coronavirus vaccinees still have to self-isolate if named contact-cases?

In a few days, it will be no longer compulsory to self-isolate if vaccinated and contact-case... This is what Prime Minister Jean Castex claimed this past Wednesday July 21, 2021 on TF1 news broadcast: "We've noticed people given two doses were to self-isolate. Assessment conducted on these people show they are not likely to be infected", he says. He added the Health Minister is to tell more about it in the afternoon.

But before, that, although vaccinated, self-isolation rules when you are a contact-case remain the same as for non-vaccinees! The French Health Minister website reads: “Even vaccinated, in case of risky contact with someone positive to Covid, you are considered as contact-case: you need to get tested and self-isolate immediately”.

In other words, vaccinated or not, if you are named contact-case, you must self-isolate for 7 days, even though you tested negative. Furthermore, if you are a contact-case to a member of your household, the self-isolation period must be 17 days.

Practical information