They too live under the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The French living abroad form a community of three million people, spread over 195 countries.
At the Quai d'Orsay, we are finishing preparing a tailor-made vaccination plan.
"They are French people in their own right, not French people apart," insists Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, the Secretary of State in charge of Tourism, French people living abroad and the Francophonie.
None of them should stand by the wayside.
While many countries are content to protect only their diplomatic teams, France wants to vaccinate all its nationals.
A project as ambitious as it is perilous.
"According to our analyzes, 86% of our compatriots living outside France will be able to have access in their country of residence to a vaccine recognized by the European Union," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For the others, we are working on alternative solutions, with the first injections planned for the beginning of May.
In some places, vaccines will be sent by plane from the mainland or from overseas territories.
It is the American product Johnson & Johnson which will be favored, if it is approved by the European health authorities, in May.
It has the advantage of being administered in a single dose and of being easy to transport at refrigerator temperatures.
Doses for poor countries
Diplomats have their work cut out for them.
Because they have to convince the local authorities to agree to let the “French doctors” enter with their medical cases.
Not always easy.
Tanzania or Madagascar, for example, refuse to vaccinate their population.
Others do not have the financial means to acquire inventory.
"Imagine that we send vaccines for our nationals only, they would run a risk", slips a diplomat.
France is campaigning at the same time so that part of global deliveries are distributed free of charge to the poorest or most populous countries, such as Nigeria or India.
This is the international Covax initiative.
Vaccinating expats is also a logistical challenge: "We know how to do it," assures Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.
We repatriated 370,000 French people at the start of the epidemic, some of whom were on vacation on small islands ”.
Vaccines and poor countries: investigation of Covax and the “somewhat naive” dream of the WHO
In addition, France should soon facilitate their international travel.
Travel arrangements will be made more flexible for French nationals living outside the European Union.
In a few days, the government will make public a modification of the rules allowing to return to France.
Currently, only “compelling” reasons allow boarding a plane.
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Their list will be expanded to allow certain families to find each other more easily.
This concerns many French people in London.
Passing through France, they can be vaccinated if they fall into the age categories concerned by the vaccination.
And if they manage, like their compatriots, to secure an appointment!