Sep 15, 2021

Which medical conditions make residential aged care staff exempt from vaccination?

Which medical conditions make residential aged care staff exempt from vaccination?

While figures show that more than 90% of Australia’s residential aged care workforce have had at least one jab, there remains a small percentage of staff who oppose vaccination – some of which are choosing to walk away from the industry altogether.

When news of mandatory vaccinations for residential aged care workers began to filter through, some of the most vocal vaccine resisters asked for clarity regarding which medical conditions would render an aged care employee exempt from mandatory vaccination. 

The good news for inquiring minds is that a template exemption form released by NSW Health has clearly spelled out some of these conditions that would allow a doctor to grant a medical exemption to the vaccine.

However, the bad news for anybody attempting to game the system is that the guidelines have given doctors very little wriggle room to write an exemption certificate. 

Reasons for a medical exemption 

To put it simply, the majority of conditions that would grant a medical exemption only pertain to specific vaccines.

This means that the majority of people who have a legitimate medical reason to be granted a medical exemption to a specific vaccine will still have other vaccine options available that are deemed safe for them to use. 

The following is a list of vaccines and their potential conditions of medical exemption:

– Pfizer and Moderna

  • A history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine component.

– AstraZeneca 

  • A history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine component
  • A history of capillary leak syndrome
  • Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST)
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT)
  • idiopathic splanchnic vein thrombosis
  • antiphospholipid syndrome (APLS) with thrombosis

Information outlining which medical conditions would qualify for an exemption to COVID-19 vaccination has not been released in other states, but the guidelines from NSW may serve as an indication of likely processes Australia-wide.

According to guidelines in NSW, the only people who would qualify for an exemption to vaccination requirements would be people who have been medically assessed as being unable to have any of the available vaccines. 

A dose of misinformation

In an appearance on early-morning TV program Sunrise, President of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr Karen Price spoke candidly about the growing number of Australians who have been demanding medical exemption certificates from their GPs. 

“It’s causing real pressure and doctors are under pressure just delivering the usual medical care to the population as well as the massive vaccination rollout,” Dr Price said.

Dr Price believes that the overwhelming majority of people who are hesitating to be vaccinated can assume that they will not be eligible for a medical exemption and that these people should discuss their vaccination concerns with their doctor.

“If they’re asking for an exemption certificate and they don’t fit the criteria, then you know they’ve probably had a dose of misinformation,” said Dr Price.

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  1. while I understand what is being said, and yes I have been vaccinated. everyone has to have the flue needle yearly to come visited there loved ones so WHY should this be any different?

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