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Guidance for NPs re: valid contraindications and deferrals to COVID-19 vaccination

Sep 16, 2021

With the BC Vaccine Card becoming operational and the recently announced mandate that all people who work in health authority facilities will have to be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, NPs may be getting requests from patients for medical notes to be exempted from receiving a vaccine. The following is guidance on how to determine the validity of such requests.

The BCCNM Professional Standards for Registered N​urses and Nurse Practitioners contain principles that guide NPs providing medical certificates to patients.

The college acknowledges that requests from patients for certificates without bona fide medical conditions can lead to challenging clinical encounters. To assist you with these situations, the Provincial Health Officer has recently published guidance on valid contraindications and deferrals to vaccination. There are very few acce​ptable medical contraindications to the COVID-19 vaccination. It may be helpful to share this guidance with your patients so that they understand what constitutes a medical condition that warrants a medical certificate.

Vaccination is the most effective measure to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in individuals and in our community. As trusted practitioners, NPs may be able to help patients overcome vaccine hesitancy. Myths continue to go unchallenged, such as immunocompromised patients, patients with autoimmune disease or pregnant patients should not be vaccinated. All three conditions put people at higher risk for severe illness with COVID-19, and in these cases, vaccines are not only recommended but prioritized.

It is important to have conversations with eligible patients to educate and encourage them to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. More information on COVID-19 vaccine can be found on the BCCDC website.


Contact BCCNM Regulatory Practice Support