Providing evidence of medical exemption
There are very few reasons for medical exemption. These reflect the Green Book on Immunisation against infectious disease, chapter 14a and clinical advice from the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Examples of the medical exemption criteria include individuals:
- receiving end of life care where vaccination is not in the individual’s interests.
- with learning disabilities or autistic individuals, or with a combination of impairments which result in the same distress, who find vaccination and testing distressing because of their condition and cannot be achieved through reasonable adjustments such as provision of an accessible environment.
- with medical contraindications to the vaccines such as severe allergy to all COVID-19 vaccines or their constituents.
- who have had adverse reactions to the first dose (e.g. myocarditis).
- with short-term medical conditions (e.g. people receiving hospital care or receiving medication which may interact with the vaccination).
- who are pregnant.
The Department of Health & Social Care has published the guidance on how to apply for official proof of medical exemption from the COVID 19 vaccination.
The steps are:
1 – The individual phones the NHS COVID Pass service on 119 to ask for an NHS COVID Pass medical exemptions application form. The call handler at the NHS COVID Pass service will ask the colleague some questions. They will need to give:
- date of birth
- NHS number (if they know it)
- the name of their GP and/or specialist clinician
2 – If they are eligible to apply, they’ll get an application form by post.
They should not ask their GP for an application form. If they do go to their GP before they get their application form they’ll be asked to call the NHS COVID pass service on 119.
3 – The colleague needs to return their application form to the GP or relevant clinician stated on the form. The application will be clinically reviewed by their doctor, specialist or midwife and may ask to speak with the colleague if needed, but they won’t need to book this when they submit their application.
4 – The colleague will automatically get the results of their application by post 2 to 3 weeks after applying. They don’t need to contact their GP or the clinician reviewing their exemption unless they are asked to contact them.
5 – If the colleague gets a medical exemption, they can use the domestic NHS COVID Pass wherever they need to.
The pass won’t show others that they have a medical exemption, just that you have the NHS COVID Pass.
They can access the NHS COVID Pass digitally – on the NHS app or the NHS website or download it as a pdf (a paper version of the pass will be available soon)
6 – The clinical decision on an individuals’ medical exemption is final. They cannot appeal the decision.
Receiving an exemption does not mean individuals are protected against COVID-19. They should self-isolate if they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
You can see the full guide here COVID-19 medical exemptions: proving you are unable to get vaccinated – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
To ensure that they are covered until they have received the outcome on their official medical exemption application, colleagues who have a medical reason why they are unable to have a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to self-certify that they meet the medical exemption criteria.
They will need to download, read and sign the below form, certify that they meet the stated medical criteria in the guidance as well as acknowledging that providing false information may result in disciplinary action. Once completed, the form should be returned to their Service Manager as proof of their temporary exemption status.DOWNLOAD SELF-CERTIFICATION FORM