BCCNM has received reports of illegitimate COVID-19 vaccine exemption and deferral letters circulating in the community that are being used by British Columbians who cannot show proof of vaccine through the province's BC Vaccine Card. In light of this, the college is issuing this guidance to assist members of the public who may be required to determine whether a vaccine exemption or deferral letter was legitimately issued by a nurse practitioner or physician.
According to the
provincial health officer, the reasons outlined in the table below are the
only valid reasons for a COVID-19 exemption or deferral. Legitimate exemption or deferral letters must state one of these valid reasons.
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna)
COVID-19 viral vector vaccine
History of an anaphylactic reaction to components of
both mRNA and adenovirus vector vaccine (i.e., polyethylene glycol and polysorbate 80)
Receipt of anti SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma for treatment or prevention of COVID-19 (except tocilizumab or sarilumab) –
defer for at least 90 days
Diagnosis of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome –
defer until fully recovered from illness and for 90 days after the date of diagnosis
Physician-diagnosed myocarditis or pericarditis following the first dose with no other cause identified –
defer until further information about the risk of recurrence is available.
Suspected hypersensitivity or non-anaphylactic allergy to COVID-19 vaccine components.
Serious adverse event following first dose of vaccine awaiting recommendation for further vaccination by the Medical Health Officer
Legitimate vaccine exemption or deferral documents issued by a nurse practitioner or physician must also have the following.
Only nurse practitioners licensed and registered with BCCNM or physicians licensed and registered with the
College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and can issue vaccine exemptions and deferrals in BC.
A nurse practitioner's registration status can be verified on the