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Risk group vaccinations list: What you need to know

Credit: Belga

Starting from today, people living in Belgium can check whether or not they are on the list of high-risk patients who will get priority vaccination over the coming weeks.

After the elderly, an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million people between 18 and 64 years old who are considered at increased risk due to an underlying condition will be vaccinated, according to the national health institute Sciensano.

The lists were recently drawn up by the 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 myhealthviewer.be from today.

80% of people with an underlying condition are expected to be included in the list from Thursday, according to Gudrun Briat of the vaccination task force.

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However, as GPs and specialists cannot add all patients at once, people who are not yet on the list on 8 April, are asked to wait a few days and check again later, Briat explained during a press conference last week.

Anyone who is not on the list by 15 April but thinks they should be, can contact their doctor, pharmacist or health insurance fund for more information.

People who are on the list will automatically be invited for their vaccination, and do not have to do anything.

The firsts invitations were sent this week, aiming to begin vaccinating the high-risk patients in the second half of April. As with the elderly, people will be invited from old to young.

In the meantime, over 250,000 people already joined the reserve list to get vaccinated with centres’ leftover doses since it went online on Tuesday, according to figures from the task force.

However, authorities repeatedly stressed that jumping the queue is not possible, as the people on the reserve list will be called up in descending order of age, within the groups currently being vaccinated.

“A 28-year-old cannot be called up before a 65-year-old, even if he registered before the 65-year-old,” they said.

Additionally, the Qvax system is available to people living in Flanders, Wallonia and the German-speaking community, but Brussels’ residents have to use the Capital-Region’s own system.

Who is considered a high-risk patient?

The Superior Health Council has advised the government on who belongs to this risk group. It concerns people who are at greater risk of ending up in intensive care if they are infected with Covid-19.

Patients aged 45 to 64 years with:

– A chronic respiratory disorder
– A chronic cardiovascular disease
– Obesity (BMI above 30)
– Diabetes type 1 and 2
– A chronic neurological disorder
– Dementia
– A malignant cancerous tumour
– An officially diagnosed high blood pressure.

Patients aged 18 to 64 years with:

– Blood cancer
– Chronic kidney disease
– Chronic renal insufficiency
– Chronic liver disease
– Down syndrome
– A weakened immune system
– AIDS or HIV
– An officially diagnosed ‘rare disease’
– Organ transplant recipients, or people on the waiting list

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times