A specific list of conditions is being released, highlighting what could qualify a Manitoban for a COVID-19 vaccine exemption.
The medical lead for Manitoba's COVID-19 vaccine task force, Dr. Joss Reimer, says the province is working to create a secure system to give COVID-19 vaccine exemptions.
"The plan today is to use it for them to be able to go to restaurants, to participate in sports, to attend concerts and all of the other things that are in the existing orders," Reimer says in a Wednesday press conference.
This exception includes people who:
- are taking certain medications that severely affect the immune system
- are living with untreated or advanced HIV-AIDS
- were born with moderate or severe dysfunction of their immune system
- have received a solid organ transplant and are currently receiving chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive therapy
- are receiving active chemotherapy (or immunotherapy) for cancer
This would be an extremely low number of Manitobans, and no one in Manitoba so far has had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose that would prevent them from being fully vaccinated.
There are some people who would be considered in this list who would not be exempt, and others not listed in this simplified public list who are. Reimer says exemptions would be carefully done.
"I do want to be very clear that the process is not a note from your doctor. We have set out three specific scenarios that must be confirmed by a specialist physician and then that specialist physician must submit that to the vaccine task force," Reimer says.
There is no religious exemption regarding not getting the vaccine. Reimer says those creating the health orders would be in charge of this, pointing to a fact sheet recently put out by The Manitoba Human Rights Commission on this topic.
To date 78.9 per cent of all eligible Manitobans have received two COVID-19 vaccines, and 83.9 per cent have received two vaccines.