The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published a letter on 15 September setting out how, on a temporary basis, people working or volunteering in care homes who cannot have a Covid-19 vaccine for a medical reason will be able to self-certify that they meet the medical exemption criteria.

There is a self-certification form for people with medical exemptions which can be used on a temporary basis prior to the launch of the NHS COVID Pass system. Once the system has been launched a formal medical exemption will need to be applied for and any self-certification will expire after 12 weeks. Individuals who have received a Covid-19 vaccination abroad can self-certify as medically exempt via the self-certification form for people vaccinated abroad.  The form notes that this temporary exemption may expire once further guidance is issued and continued deployment in a care home may depend on a complete course of an authorised COVID-19 vaccination.

Time-limited exemptions are also available for those with short-term medical conditions (for example, people receiving hospital care or receiving medication which may interact with the vaccination).  A time-limited exemption is also available for pregnant women should they choose to take it.

The self-certification form makes it clear that the person signing it acknowledges that providing false information may result in disciplinary action.

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