People at risk of complications from COVID-19 can now pre-register for vaccine in Waterloo region

Waterloo Region Public Health has opened up vaccine pre-registration for people at risk of developing complications from COVID-19 including people undergoing cancer treatment, those with kidney disease and organ transfer recipients.

Cancer patients and organ transfer recipients now eligible

Cancer patients, people with kidney disease and organ transplant recipients — of any age — are now eligible to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine in Waterloo region, as their health conditions put them at a higher risk of complications if they fall ill from the virus. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Waterloo Region Public Health has opened up vaccine pre-registration for people at risk of developing complications from COVID-19. 

The list is divided into two groups: high-risk and highest-risk.

People in both the highest-risk and high-risk groups are able to pre-register for the vaccine as of today — March 26.

The highest-risk group include adults — of any age — who:

  • Have received organ transplants.
  • Have received hematopoietic stem-cell transplants.
  • Have neurological diseases that affect respiratory function (including multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, and myasthenia gravis).
  • Kidney disease, with an eGFR of less than 30.
  • Have cancer of the blood, lymph nodes or bone marrow (haematological malignancy) diagnosed less than a year ago.

The high-risk group include adults — of any age — who:

  • Take immuno-suppressives (including chemotherapy and other medications that weaken the immune system). 
  • Are obese (with a BMI greater than 40)
  • Have intellectual or developmental disabilities (including Down syndrome).

For those in the highest-risk group, an essential caregiver can also pre-register for the vaccine. That person must be someone who supports the individual on a daily basis and is involved in their health care. 

"Anyone with questions about their health condition and the COVID-19 vaccine should seek the advice of their health care provider," said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Waterloo in a news release.

People are encouraged to pre-register online and public health says it can take four to six weeks to receive an appointment date. Those who cannot complete their pre-registration online can call 519-575-4400 or 519-575-4608 (TTY), but public health warns they are dealing with a high volume of calls.


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