Reader question: How do I prove I have a ‘high-risk’ condition to get vaccinated in Switzerland?

Reader question: How do I prove I have a ‘high-risk’ condition to get vaccinated in Switzerland?
Priority access to a vaccine may require a medical certtificate. Photo by Jacob King / POOL / AFP
As in some cantons vaccines are available in limited quantities, priority is given to people with serious chronic illnesses. If you fall into this category, you must have a note from your doctor certifying that you are eligible for the priority jab.

If you register to be vaccinated outside of the timetable established for your age group, many cantons require a medical certificate proving that you suffer from one of the chronic illnesses that entitle you to priority appointment. 

This became necessary after it was discovered that some people pretended to have pre-existing illnesses just to get their shots sooner than they normally would.

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) created a detailed list of medical conditions considered serious enough to warrant priority access to vaccines.

READ MORE: How do I get vaccinated in Switzerland?

They include high blood pressure, diabetes, certain heart conditions, and other ailments that put people at risk of complications from Covid.

Some cantons may have modified this list, so it is best to check their requirements ahead of time

As far as what proof is needed, it should be a letter from your doctor or hospital, stating your name, date of birth, and medical condition that makes you eligible for priority vaccine.

This note should be written on doctor’s or hospital’s official letterhead, and must be dated, signed and stamped.

Some cantons require that you bring this letter with you to your appointment, while others ask the doctor to transmit it online before the day and time of your appointment.

Here too, find out what the rules are in your canton of residence.

Such a letter should be sufficient proof and it is all that you need. Don’t bring your entire medical file with you, or lengthy medical reports, or X-rays. 

Now, what happens if you received your medical diagnosis in your home country and don’t have a Swiss doctor to give you a letter?

The Local put this question to FOPH.

“Usually, foreign certificates are valid in Switzerland”, said FOPH spokesperson Katrin Holenstein.

“But you have to check with your canton”, she added.

Reader question: Why was I refused a vaccine in the Swiss canton of Geneva despite an SMS invitation?

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