Are there any medical exemptions for getting vaccinated against COVID? Here is what you need to know



One of the most controversial and debated topics around COVID-19 vaccines are medical exemptions.

And now that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine for those 16 and older, vaccination mandates are being implemented across the country.

Many businesses and workplaces require employees to get vaccinated, restaurants grapple with the decision, and even some public events require it. Simply put: The discussion about medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine is intensifying again.

So who exactly is exempt from getting the COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons? Here is an explanation of the conditions that allow a person to be medically exempt from the vaccine.

The only medical condition the medical community agrees on that can exempt people from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is anaphylaxis.

According to the FDA, people with a history of anaphylaxis or a “known history of a severe allergic reaction” to any of the ingredients in the Pfizer vaccine should not receive the vaccine.

This also applies to other vaccines if someone has allergies to the ingredients in Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccines.

The FDA has a list of ingredients in the three COVID-19 vaccines which can be viewed here: Pfizer | Modern | Johnson & Johnson.

No. Data from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology show that allergic reactions are rare. Earlier this year, studies showed that only five cases per million doses of the Pfizer vaccine had an allergic reaction, and only 2.5 cases per million doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Healthcare professionals say that if you are allergic to ingredients in a particular vaccine, you should be able to receive another vaccine since the ingredients are different.

According to, another case where a doctor might draft a medical exemption for a patient with legitimate intentions is when a person has developed a serious health problem after receiving the first dose of an mRNA vaccine.

Your first step should be to meet with an allergist or healthcare professional who can better assess the situation. A specialist can perform allergy tests to see which ingredients you are actually allergic to and make a recommendation on the best COVID-19 vaccine for you.

If you are medically exempt from receiving the vaccine, a doctor will likely write you a note.

But most experts recommend that if you are allergic to one ingredient in a vaccine, you should check whether or not you can take another.

Forbes recently noted that there is a big difference between the safety risks of getting the vaccine and the vaccines not working as expected.

According to the Forbes article, there is no evidence that cancer patients are more likely to have side effects from vaccines or that vaccines are dangerous for them, but there is plenty of evidence that they are more likely. of developing COVID-19 due to their lack of immune system.

Dr Benjamin G. Neel, professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine and director of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, told Forbes that some patients may not develop a sufficient immune response with the usual two-shot regimen of Pfizer. or Moderna. or a single injection of Johnson & Johnson and could benefit from a booster injection.

The FDA even recently cleared an extra dose for people who are immunocompromised, such as cancer patients.

Stories related to COVID-19:

When can children under 12 get the Pfizer vaccine?

Symptoms of the Delta variant to watch out for if you are fully vaccinated

Unvaccinated people 11 times more likely to die from COVID, CDC says

Is it safe to get the flu shot and get the COVID shot at the same time?

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Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at [email protected]. Do you have any advice? Tell us at


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