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Elderly to expats: How Brussels vaccine invites work

Credit: Belga

As vaccinations in Belgium are picking up speed and most of the elderly have been vaccinated, many Brussels residents are wondering how they can check if they are on the list to get vaccinated.

First of all: anyone with a valid national registry number or BIS number will be invited to get vaccinated by the region they live in, in descending order of age, following Belgium’s vaccination strategy.

“People who work in Belgium, such as expats, are registered in the national registers with that BIS number,” a spokesperson for the Region’s Common Community Commission (COCOM) told The Brussels Times.

Someone’s BIS number is a unique 11-digit identification number for people who are not Belgian citizens in the National Registry, but still work in the country, and can be found on people’s tax assessments or residence card, for example.

“This means that they, too, will be invited,” she added.

People can check if they are registered with their email address or mobile phone number by logging in with their eID and card reader via the government website (only available in Dutch, French and German).

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By going to the tab called “my data,” and then selecting “my contact details,” people can enter their current phone number and/or email address, so they are certain the invitation will reach them. Errors can also be reported.

Additionally, people who are not sure if they are officially registered with a BIS number can always contact their municipality.

“Sometimes it takes a bit longer, in which case they have to go through the embassy or organisation they work for, which can then help further,” the COCOM spokesperson said, adding that the procedure is still being clarified further.

Additionally, people working for the European institution can get vaccinated in a centre run by their employer, according to the Brussels authorities.

“These centres should ensure in particular that people who, because of their specific status (such as temporary stay, residence abroad, or recent arrival), are difficult to contact by the municipalities, also have access to vaccination,” they said.

They will, however, not get priority vaccinations, but will get their jabs alongside the rest of the population in Belgium, according to the country’s strategy.

High-risk patients

Additionally, from Thursday 8 April, people can also check whether or not they are on the list of high-risk patients who will get priority vaccination over the coming weeks.

According to the national health institute Sciensano, an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million people between 18 and 64 years old are considered at increased risk across the country.

The lists were drawn up by health insurance funds and GPs, and people can check if they are considered a high-risk patient by logging in with their e-ID via the government website from today.

Vaccination reserve list

While the federal Qvax platform to register to get on the reserve list for vaccination was launched on Tuesday, the Brussels-Capital Region is using its own system.

“From [next] Monday, people living in Brussels can register to get on the reserve list for vaccination by contacting the call centre,” Gudrun Briat of the vaccination task force said during a press conference on Tuesday.

The call centre can be reached during working hours via the telephone number 02 214 19 19.

However, people who register to be on the waiting list will not be able to jump the queue, as they will still be called up in descending order of age, within the groups currently being vaccinated.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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