What are legitimate medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines?

covid vaccine
Posted at 2:46 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 18:46:17-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Last week President Joe Biden announced a plan for tackling COVID-19 that includes requiring employers with 100 or more workers to either ensure staff are fully vaccinated or tested regularly.

That's in addition to vaccine requirements for federal workers and health care staff. In all cases, there are supposed to be exemptions for religious or medical reasons.

"There are very few legitimate medical reasons to avoid vaccination with these vaccines," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Robert Schooley with UCSD.

He says even people who've had allergic reactions should be able to get vaccinated.

"People who've had these anaphylactic reactions to the mRNA vaccines have been revaccinated with their second dose with a little bit of preparation with Benadryl and done fine as well," said Dr. Schooley.

He says early on there were lots of concerns raised about pregnant women getting vaccinated, but says the research has shown the shots to be safe and adds that people should be more concerned about contracting COVID.

"In terms of risk-benefit ratios, it's very hard to make a medical argument that you shouldn't be vaccinated," said Dr. Schooley.

He says people who have a history of allergic reactions could seek a legitimate exemption from their doctor, but they must be allergic to a component in the vaccine, not simply things like peanuts or pollen.

But he thinks many people will instead opt for another route.

"I think that there will be many many more exemptions that are couched in the religious exemption category than in the medical one."