Vaccine exemptions explained in MoH document

Please share this story - thanks

The Ministry of Health has published its criteria and an example letter for covid vaccine exemptions (although ‘thanks, but no thanks’ should really be good enough).

Its Vaccine Temporary Medical Exemption Clinical Criteria, Clinical Guidance and Resources can be downloaded from The Buzz here (MoH source PDF here).

So far 133 people are listed as having died in New Zealand following vaccination (investigations into cause of death continue) and there has been 43 miscarriages as of MoS adverse reaction report 39 here (download the MoS spreadsheet for a full list of adverse reaction, bearing in mind only 5% are reported).

Among the reasons stated for a six-month exemption for the jab include having a serious adverse event attributed to a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine with no other cause identified, unable to tolerate vaccine administration with resulting risk to themselves or others (eg, due to severe neurodevelopmental condition), and suffering myocarditis/pericarditis following the first dose of the vaccine.

The document states:

Principles of Temporary Medical Exemption

  • There are very few situations where a vaccine is contraindicated and, as such, a medical exemption is expected to be rarely required.
  • Exemptions should be limited to situations where a suitable alternative COVID- 19 vaccine is not readily available for the individual.
  • Exemptions should be for a specified time, reflecting, for example, recovery from clinical conditions or the availability of alternate vaccines.
  • Vaccination should be completed as soon as clinically safe within the exemption timeframe. This is particularly relevant for criteria 1C where it is unlikely that a full six months is required.
  • It is likely that most people who are not medically exempt can be safely vaccinated, with some requiring extra precautions.
  • The practitioner completing the application form should have an existing clinical relationship with the consumer and will support them for completing their vaccinations going forward.

Those not medically exempt

  • People who had an otherwise negative experience that is not mentioned above, with other vaccines in the past.
  • Disabled people once adequate resources are available to support safe delivery. People with disabilities are generally at higher risk from COVID-19, and therefore are a priority for vaccination.
  • Pregnant people. Pregnancy is not a valid reason for exemption in the absence of any of the criteria listed in the above table. Pregnancy is associated with higher risk from COVID-19 compared to the general population and therefore this group are a priority for vaccination.
  • A vaccination may reasonably be deferred for individuals with some acute major medical conditions, such undergoing major surgery or hospital admission for a serious illness.

Medical exemption duration

The medical exemption duration is 6 months, with the ability to apply for a new exemption if required. This time period will allow individuals who can safely be vaccinated, with either the same vaccine or an alternative vaccine, as appropriate, to be protected against COVID-19 in a timely way.

Please share this story - thanks