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New Guidance on Medical Exemption From COVID-19 Vaccination

on Friday, 29 October 2021.

This procedure is open to any individual who is medically exempt from vaccination - it is not limited to care home workers.

As we reported earlier this year, from 11 November 2021, care home workers and anyone else who enters a CQC registered care home will need to be double-vaccinated against COVID-19. Amongst the exemptions from this requirement are service users (and friends and relatives of service users), and those who are exempt for clinical reasons.

How Do You Apply for Exemption?

Currently, care home workers are able to use the self-certification procedure if they are medically exempt from vaccination. However, from 25 December 2021, they must follow the Government's new guidance and apply for proof of their exemption:

  • The individual will need to phone the NHS COVID Pass service on 119 to ask for an NHS COVID Pass medical exemptions application form.
  • If the individual is eligible, they will receive the application form in the post and will need to return this to their GP or relevant clinician for review.
  • The individual will receive the results of their application by post two to three weeks after applying.

If the individual's application is successful, they will be able to use the NHS COVID Pass to prove their status where necessary in England. The pass will not show the medical exemption.

There is no ability to appeal the decision if unsuccessful.

At present, there is no paper version of the pass, though the Government has said this will be put in place shortly. However, alongside the digital NHS COVID Pass, the individual will receive a confirmation letter explaining that they are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons. They must keep this letter and use it if they work or volunteer in a care home after 11 November 2021.

If you have any questions about this article, or are concerned about the implications on the new legislation, please contact Sharmin Chowdhury in our Employment Law team on 01923 919 373, or complete the form below.

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