KITCHENER -- People with certain health conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19 complications can now pre-register for vaccinations in Waterloo Region.

In addition, one essential caregiver for individuals in the highest risk group and some high risk groups can also pre-register for a vaccine appointment, according to a Friday news release from Public Health.

An essential caregiver is defined as someone who supports people with health conditions in their daily living.

The following health conditions are considered highest risk:

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Hematopoietic stem-cell transplant recipients
  • People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
  • Hematological malignancy diagnosed less than a year ago
  • Kidney disease (eGFR less than 30)

The high risk group is defined as people with the following conditions:

  • Obesity (Body Mass Index >40)
  • Treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g., chemotherapy, medications that weaken immunity)
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g., Down Syndrome)

In the news release, the Region’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang says anyone with questions about their health condition and the COVID-19 vaccine should the seek advice of their health care provider.

The Vaccine Task Force is encouraging those now eligible to pre-register for vaccinations to do so as soon as possible.

The Region says the fastest way to pre-register is to do so online on their website.