What is considered a medical exemption from a COVID-19 vaccine?

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:25 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -With many places starting to require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine, questions are arising as to what is considered a medical exemption. Megan Cole spoke with a doctor from Pines Health Services and has the details.

“A medical exemption would be a medical condition for which it would be inappropriate for you to receive a vaccine or treatment.”

However, John Armstrong, a Medical Doctor with pines health services, says there are only two ways people can be exempted from a COVID-19 vaccine.

“One they have a very rare, very, very rare but severe but treatable allergic reaction to the first vaccine. Two they already have a well known allergy to one of the ingredients in the vaccine. Both of these would be severe allergic reactions again requiring an epi pen for life saving treatment.”

He adds that severe allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines are very rare.

“There’s been a couple very, very large studies looking at millions and millions of people and it appears that there have been somewhere between 1 and 10 severe allergic reactions per about every million doses administered. That means the odds of having one of these reactions is about 1 to 10 in a million. Now, over 90% of those people who have had severe allergic reactions have had similar severe allergic reactions requiring an epi pen to a previous vaccine.”

If you have any questions regarding a medical exemption, you’re encouraged to contact your primary care provider.

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