The government has updated its operational guidance on the vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes to confirm the procedure that care home workers in England should use to apply for proof that they are medically exempt from vaccination.
The procedure for applying for official proof that, for medical reasons, someone is unable to be vaccinated is not, however, limited to care home workers; it applies to any individual who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. If an application is granted, the individual will be able to use the domestic NHS COVID Pass to prove their COVID-19 status wherever necessary in England – the pass will not show that they have a medical exemption, just that they have the NHS COVID Pass. They will also receive a confirmation letter which can be used to prove that they are unable to be vaccinated if they either work in a care home or are travelling to England from a country that is not on the red list. It is up to other countries to decide whether residents in England with a medical exemption qualify for relaxed border measures to enter their country.
The temporary self-certification procedure for care home workers will end on 24 December 2021.
To apply for an exemption, an individual must call the NHS COVID Pass service on 119 to ask for a medical exemption application form. If eligible, they will be sent an application form by post, which they should return to their GP or specialist clinician. The individual’s application will then be clinically reviewed, and they will automatically get the results of their application by post two to three weeks after applying. The clinical decision on the individual’s medical exemption is final and there is no right of appeal.
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