The mother of Nathalie Geijsbregts received a coronavirus vaccine invitation in the post for her daughter, who went missing 30 years ago this year.
Anita Pintjens received an invitation addressed to her daughter, who disappeared in 1991 on her way to school when she was ten years old. Nathalie would now be 40 years old, and it is believed she was abducted, as she was never found.
“We have very mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is painful to be confronted with it again. On the other hand, we are also relieved that she has not been forgotten. That she has not been written out. I think that many families of missing persons will receive such an invitation in the mail,” her father Eric Geijsbregts told De Standaard.
He added that he understands that the person who sent the letter was simply relying on data from the national register that rolls out of the computer, adding that similar mistakes have been made in the past.
“For example, we once received a letter from the government asking us why we had not registered our daughter at any school,” said Geijsbregts, who posted the letter on his personal Facebook account.
The post resulted in a lot of criticism from other social media users, a reaction which Heidi De Pauw from Child Focus, who argued that the invitation is “shameful and unacceptable”, agrees with.
“We regret this unfortunate incident and apologise. But we rely on the National Register to send invitations in the order of the age at that moment,” said Joris Moonens of the Flemish Agency for Care and Health.