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Old 25.01.2021, 15:31
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Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

There are two options to chose from on the Bern website

Which people need the letter and which done?

...chronischen Krankheiten: Erkrankung des Herzens, der Atemwege, der Niere, des Immunsystems / Bluthochdruck / Adipositas (BMI ≥ 35) / Zuckerkrankheit

Chronische Krankheiten
  • Krankheit wie oben beschrieben in Behandlung mit Medikamenten oder sonstiger Dauertherapie
  • Krankheit wie oben beschrieben mit höchstem Risiko (schriftliche ärztliche Bestätigung notwendig)

...chronic illnesses: Heart, respiratory, kidney, immune system / high blood pressure / obesity (BMI ≥ 35) / diabetes

Chronic diseases
  • Illness as described above in treatment with medication or other long-term therapy
  • Illness as described above with the highest risk (written medical confirmation required)

I called the covid hotline and the Bern covid number but I don't think I got a clear answer
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Old 25.01.2021, 16:11
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

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There are two options to chose from on the Bern website

Which people need the letter and which done?

...chronischen Krankheiten: Erkrankung des Herzens, der Atemwege, der Niere, des Immunsystems / Bluthochdruck / Adipositas (BMI ≥ 35) / Zuckerkrankheit

Chronische Krankheiten
  • Krankheit wie oben beschrieben in Behandlung mit Medikamenten oder sonstiger Dauertherapie
  • Krankheit wie oben beschrieben mit höchstem Risiko (schriftliche ärztliche Bestätigung notwendig)

...chronic illnesses: Heart, respiratory, kidney, immune system / high blood pressure / obesity (BMI ≥ 35) / diabetes

Chronic diseases
  • Illness as described above in treatment with medication or other long-term therapy
  • Illness as described above with the highest risk (written medical confirmation required)

I called the covid hotline and the Bern covid number but I don't think I got a clear answer
I think that if you take a "rezeptpflichtiges Medikament" (available only with prescription) you don't need a letter from the Dr.

But it seems to me that those with the highest risk (which need a letter) will be seen first. Maybe you should call your Dr. and ask him if s/he thinks you are in the highest risk category.
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Old 25.01.2021, 16:57
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

I would imagine you need a letter for anything that you can't directly prove yourself. If you are over 75 a piece of ID would suffice, but for pretty much all other reasons I can imagine you would need to have the fact that you are at-risk vetted by a doctor. I wouldn't just rock up with a box of pills for hypertension or an inhaler and expect this to be counted as proof. I can imagine that for quite some time yet, until the vaccine is freely available to all some form of letter from a doctor will be necessary to identify those at-risk.

I just received a letter from the hospital this morning that I can get vaccinated in this first high-priority group (I had cancer last year), but it is written in bold that I need to present their letter when I go to get vaccinated as proof of my being considered at risk. Makes perfect sense to me.
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Old 25.01.2021, 18:41
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

Yet my wife’s oncologist says that she isn’t of particular risk despite having Cancer two years ago.
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Old 25.01.2021, 18:54
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

To be honest I was a bit surprised to get the letter as I had uncomplicated stage 1 breast cancer with precautionary radiation therapy and no chemo, and I am otherwise only 40 yo and in excellent health. I thought that those cancer patients at risk would be e.g. those who are currently undergoing chemo, or who have had lung cancer. But I am certainly going to take advantage of the fact that I am being offered this vaccine already.

In the same letter was a consent form to participate in a long-term observational study that monitors how immunity builds/is maintained over time. This will require me having regular blood checks over the first few weeks following my initial and second vaccinations, and then at slightly more spread-out intervals for the next year. Also said yes to this even though it will be a bit of a hassle to have to go to the hospital on such a regular basis to have blood drawn. The more data the researchers have the better, and I am very happy to help contribute to our scientific understanding of Covid immunity.
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Old 25.01.2021, 20:18
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

Hmmmm i just called my medical practice but they said i dont need a letter, the bern form did have two options, chronic conditions that require a letter, and another bullet point that didnt state the letter part, i dont know if its correct so i dont give this as advice
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Old 26.01.2021, 15:41
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

It appears (in the best Swiss tradition) that it depends on the canton. I live in Vaud and "auto-declared" myself as being vulnerable on the questionnaire on the coronovax website (the website used by Vaud to manage the vaccination process). At the time I filled in the questionnaire the conditions related to being vulnerable were rather vague, though they are now more precise. I would still give myself the benefit of the doubt and in any case I got my first jab and no questions asked at the time. I'm always amused to be asked, after having declared myself as a male, whether or not I'm pregnant.
Apparently in Geneva you need a doctor's note to register for the vaccination.
Knowing Switzerland there are probably 26 different uncoordinated ways this is being managed.
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Old 26.01.2021, 16:15
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

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Yet my wife’s oncologist says that she isn’t of particular risk despite having Cancer two years ago.
I’m ten years out, and my oncologist said I am at increased risk, like many people treated for cancer, but it may be confounded by age, comorbidities, etc., there is also the possibility that having cancer and going through treatment somehow makes you more susceptible.

But who knows?

https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/ne...ovid19-illness
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Old 26.01.2021, 16:28
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

I was so confused about this too when I registered. My GP is in Basel, and she did not know either...she said she was of course happy to write a letter confirming I had asthma, but did not know what was "official". I also don't think I am at the "highest risk" - if I were 80+ with asthma, yes...but I am half that age and otherwise healthy.

I went ahead and selected the option without the letter, which means I won't be vaccinated till 2022 at this rate.
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Old 26.01.2021, 16:54
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

My husband has had kidney cancer (2 years ago), has high blood pressure (not very well controlled by medication) and has unstable glucose levels. He is 60 and was told by his Doctor that he's not at particular risk and there were people at higher risk than him. I don't doubt that fact, but the criteria seems to vary greatly and seems rather unclear.
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Old 26.01.2021, 17:05
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

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My husband has had kidney cancer (2 years ago), has high blood pressure (not very well controlled by medication) and has unstable glucose levels. He is 60 and was told by his Doctor that he's not at particular risk and there were people at higher risk than him. I don't doubt that fact, but the criteria seems to vary greatly and seems rather unclear.
It also seems to be very much canton dependant although the ‘high risk’ criteria are defined by the OFSP.
There seem to be quite a few cantons relying on people reading the risk criteria and being honest when filling out the online registration forms.
In Neuchâtel the high risk patients are only vaccinated if put forwards by their doctor so there is no way to fudge it. I guess that only really works in smaller cantons where the numbers are lower, it would be an awful lot harder in the more populated cantons.

My husband and I both received our second doses this afternoon.
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Old 26.01.2021, 17:11
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

OH is 74 less 2 months with multiple conditions on the list of very high risk- but he will have to wait until he is 75 mid March to be on the list. I am 70 minus a few weeks, and with several pre-existing conditions which put me at risk- but will probably have to wait a very long time. Especially as I had confirmed Covid over Christmas.

However, this really shows how important it is to be registered with a GP- and to have met to discuss medical history, familial history, BEFORE becoming ill. Yes, it will cost few Chuffs, but it will ensure your GP knows your medical background, knows what medication you are on, etc- and also to ensure the GP and you are well matched with your expectations and hers/his too. Worth every penny. Of course in the UK, such a preliminary 'interview' would be free- but it is what it is.

Can't imagine anything worse than having an emergency or medical crisis- and not having a doctor you know and who knows you, to some extent, and has taken a medical history from you and has notes, and test results, to hand, just in case.

And if you need proof of any medical condition/s as for this vaccine.

Last edited by JackieH; 26.01.2021 at 17:26.
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Old 26.01.2021, 17:22
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

Quote:
I’m ten years out, and my oncologist said I am at increased risk, like many people treated for cancer, but it may be confounded by age, comorbidities, etc., there is also the possibility that having cancer and going through treatment somehow makes you more susceptible.

But who knows?

https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/ne...ovid19-illness
The way I view it (now that I think about it a bit more), part of the risk associated of being a cancer patient is that you are going in and out of the hospital frequently for checkups, and are therefore often in close proximity to health care workers and also people who are really sick. The last time I had my blood drawn at the hospital, on the opposite side of the room a woman was receiving her chemo, and she looked seriously, seriously unwell.

I am also at much higher risk of needing surgery in the coming months than your average person. On my very first follow-up mammogram and ultrasound they found more calcifications, but they've deferred taking a biospy for the time being (which isn't very reassuring to me). Since it's clear I'll be having another minor surgery in the coming months, plus more blood tests, plus more doctor's appointments (which means more sitting around in waiting rooms with all the other cancer patients), I think it's in the interests of the oncology department for me to be vaccinated, even if my individual risk is relatively low.

I guess if you've been given the all-clear from your docs and are in remission and no longer an "active" cancer patient it's less of a priority for you to get the vaccine straight away? I am not thrilled to be considered at risk, but I am sure going to get my vaccination. My first jab is scheduled for four weeks from now.

Last edited by Bossa Nova; 26.01.2021 at 19:44.
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Old 26.01.2021, 17:28
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

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Knowing Switzerland there are probably 26 different uncoordinated ways this is being managed.
Yes, this seems to be true.

For those in Bern, it seems straightforward to me. If a person has one of the conditions listed and it's managed well with medication and annual monitoring then they'd click the link that doesn't require a doctor's letter.

If a person has a more complicated illness that requires more regular checks and is more urgent, surely the person and his/her doctor would have already discussed whether a vaccine is of utmost importance at the most recent check?

If a person thinks it's urgent to get a vaccine for whatever reason and you want to get to the front of the queue, I'd assume you must talk to your doctor to get a letter.

SusieQ why do you think you'll be so far down the list? I have one of the conditions listed and chose the "medical condition, no letter" option, and am assigned to group E. That's not terrible in my opinion and I'm under age 50. Another friend who is younger and healthier without a medical condition is in group N.
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Old 26.01.2021, 17:31
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

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SusieQ why do you think you'll be so far down the list? I have one of the conditions listed and chose the "medical condition, no letter" option, and am assigned to group E. That's not terrible in my opinion and I'm under age 50. Another friend who is younger and healthier without a medical condition is in group N.
How do you know what group you are assigned to? I haven't received anything other than a SMS with a number code that I can use when it is time to set up an appointment.

Thanks!
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Old 26.01.2021, 17:33
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

Here in Neuchâtel you cannot self register unless you are over 75. You can't self register for a date ahead either, your DOB has to be above 75.
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Old 26.01.2021, 17:46
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

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How do you know what group you are assigned to? I haven't received anything other than a SMS with a number code that I can use when it is time to set up an appointment.

Thanks!
Are you sure you completed all the steps in the registration process?
I just took a look at the Bern registration page.
I highlighted the SMS part below.

"There is one registration per person.
Fill in all fields carefully and
check your entry.
The email address is used for
future logins as username.
To the entered mobile phone number we
will send a security code via SMS to verify your identity.
Please check that the number
was entered correctly and no
number is missing. It doesn't matter how that
Number is entered, whether with or
without area code: 0041 / +41 / 07x.
Please make a note of your password in order to
log in to the portal again.
Click on «Register User»
continue.
In the next step, enter the per
SMS received the security code.
Then click on “Submit”.
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Old 26.01.2021, 17:48
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

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How do you know what group you are assigned to? I haven't received anything other than a SMS with a number code that I can use when it is time to set up an appointment.

Thanks!
After registering, I received an SMS with a letter/number code in the message. From there I had to go to https://be.vacme.ch and enter the code. It then generated a letter with a QR code and a group letter. I think you need to put your SMS code in the site I mention.

Edit - The letter also says that when my group comes up, I'll be notified and again go to that website to schedule the actual appointments.
Edit 2 - Sigh types faster and is less wordy

Last edited by 3Wishes; 26.01.2021 at 18:01.
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Old 26.01.2021, 18:19
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

Oh my 3Wishes! Mine did not say that ... granted it was the first available day that I registered and the site crashed 3 times while doing so. Let me look into this, thanks soooo much for your help.

(I also just checked my sms again and it says use this code to book an appointment...) Will give them a call if needed...
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Old 26.01.2021, 18:23
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Re: Corona / covid vaccine for chronic conditon guys - who needs a medical letter?

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Oh my 3Wishes! Mine did not say that ... granted it was the first available day that I registered and the site crashed 3 times while doing so. Let me look into this, thanks soooo much for your help.

(I also just checked my sms again and it says use this code to book an appointment...) Will give them a call if needed...
Yes, my SMS said that too but it also had the link to the site I mentioned above. Perhaps since you registered very early the SMS did not include the website link. They certainly have had to iron out a lot of bugs. Maybe try going directly to the be.vacme.ch site and entering your code there? Good luck!
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