±A - Join Our Community

Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

Insurance, FX and international movers

±A - Listen to the Podcast

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Health Risks, Inoculations, Vaccinations and Health Certificates

France - Health Risks, Inoculations, Vaccinations and Health Certificates

There are a number of vaccinations that it is recommended that you have before you go to France. These are not necessarily required for entry into the country but it is advisable to have them. Your first port of call should be to your doctor who will be able to advise you on what is needed. You need to ensure that all your routine vaccinations are up to date. These include polio, MMR, tetanus, diphtheria and influenza. Another vaccine which is recommended is that for Hepatitis B. Your doctor will take into account your own medical needs when he advises you on the best series of vaccinations for your time in France.

A rabies vaccination is not compulsory but if you believe that your work or leisure time might bring you into contact with bats then you should have it. If you are a wildlife professional, a vet or someone who has visited areas where bat live then you should have the vaccination. If you are unsure you should consult a medical professional for further advice.

If you have to take medication on a regular basis then you should bring any prescription medicine that you need with you. As it may take several weeks while you settle in to your new home and find a doctor you should ensure that you have enough with you to last for this period of time. You need to check with the French embassy in your home country to ensure that the medications you have are legal in France, if they are not then you will need to have a letter written by your doctor to confirm that you need the medication and that it has been prescribed to you.

There are also minor risks which are associated with other diseases found in the region. During the summer months when the weather is warmer there is a risk of tickborne encephalitis, but this is mainly in the southern regions. Leishmaniasis occurs in cutaneous and visceral forms and is found mainly along the Mediterranean. However, the cases are mainly among those who are infected with HIV. There have been several occurrences of Avian Flu although there is a specific vaccination for this. Diseases such as malaria and yellow fever have been eradicated from France and no longer pose a risk but if you are travelling from South America or Africa you will need to have a certificate to prove that you have been vaccinated against yellow fever. Lyme disease does occur during the drier periods of the year. There is a vaccination that can help to protect you from this illness.

When you are spending time in France there are a number of precautions you can take to try to stay healthy. Using an insect repellent should help to ward off any insect borne diseases. One of the main reasons for falling ill is due to food and water in the country that you are visiting. The quality of tap water is considered to be good in France but if you are unsure you should only consume bottled water. It is also advised that you avoid dairy products that are unpasteurised. Some of the varieties of cheese in France use unpasteurised milk and if you are in doubt these should be avoided.

The temperatures in the south of France can be very high during the summer months so care should be taken to protect the skin with a high factor sun cream and the wearing of a hat is advisable to defend against sunstroke. Sunglasses will help to protect the eyes from the strong light. The mountain areas of the Pyrenees and the southern part of the Alps also experience high temperatures and strong sunlight during the summer.

The latest health information can be found with the foreign office of your own government. They issue guidelines about everything that may affect travellers, including health issues. It is essential when you travel to France that you have adequate health insurance in place as you will not necessarily be entitled to free healthcare via the French system. Health risks are much lower for France than for many destinations and this is mainly due to the high standards of health care in the country.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.