COVID-19 exemptions process

While the reasons for getting a medical exemption from Covid-19 vaccinations are extremely limited, below outlines the process through which someone can get an official exemption.

  1. The citizen calls the COVID-19 Covid Pass Service on 119 to request an exemption application form from COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines and testing.
  2. The 119 operative performs a non-medical pre-screening assessment and captures details about the citizen’s request, determines which GP/specialist clinician/midwife should review the exemption application, and any written communication accessibility preferences. The 119 operative will inform and explain to the citizen if they do not meet the pre-screening assessment criteria.
  3. An application form, pre-populated with information recorded by the 119 operative, will be posted to the citizen.
  4. On receipt of the application form, the citizen will add any relevant information/evidence required to support their application to the form and will send or otherwise deliver it to their GP/Specialist Clinician/midwife (the citizen is not required to make an appointment for this).
  5. The GP/Specialist Clinician/midwife will assess the application against the clinical guidance provided by DHSC, the citizen’s medical records, and any evidence/supporting information provided by the citizen.
  6. The GP/Specialist Clinician/midwife (or a colleague with delegated authority) will then record the outcome of the clinical assessment (i.e. exemption accepted or declined) on the Summary Care Record application (SCRa).
  7. Following this action, the citizen will automatically receive a notification by letter of the outcome of their application and, if their application was accepted, this will display on their NHS COVID Pass available in the NHS App or non-digital alternatives. There is no further action required from the clinician.

Reasons you could get a medical exemption

The possible reasons for exemptions are limited. Examples that might be reasons for a medical exemption are:

  • people receiving end of life care where vaccination is not in the person’s best interests
  • people with learning disabilities, autism or a combination of impairments which mean that vaccination and testing result in distress and who cannot be vaccinated through reasonable adjustments such as an accessible environment
  • a person with severe allergies to all currently available vaccines
  • those who have had an adverse reaction to the first dose (for example, myocarditis)
  • Other medical conditions could also allow you to get a medical exemption.