WINNIPEG - The province now has a way to verify legitimate COVID-19 vaccine exemptions — and it’s being built into its existing system to verify the vaccinations themselves.
Vaccine Implementation Task Force medical lead Dr. Joss Reimer says those who want to apply for a recognized exemption card can begin their application by having a discussion with their regular healthcare provider or specialist.
Reimer says there are three different scenarios in which exemption may be offered, including severe reactions after a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; receiving treatment that can limit immune response, such as chemotherapy or after a transplant; or having a severe allergy or anaphylactic reaction to components of the vaccine.
Healthcare providers who determine that an applicant meets the criteria will be referred to a licensed specialist for further assessment, who may confirm the exemption, and then decide if it’s permanent or temporary. Qualified exemptions will then be submitted to Manitoba Health for entry into a database, and at that point, digital QR codes or exemption cards will be available within a week or two.
The cards used by those declared exempt will be the same as those issued to those who are fully immunized and will allow cardholders to enter the same spaces as vaccinated Manitobans.