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CPSA guidance on COVID-19 vaccination exemption requests

COVID-19, Physicians | Posted September 15, 2021

Dear colleague,

As we navigate the fourth wave of COVID-19, I want to reiterate that CPSA strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination to anyone who is eligible. While COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory in Alberta, an increasing number of schools, businesses and jurisdictions are now requiring students, staff and visitors to be fully vaccinated. I recognize this has led to an increased number of patients requesting medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination.

To help your decision-making, CPSA has developed Guidance for physicians: requests for COVID-19 vaccination exemptions.

All clinical decisions on this matter should be made in accordance with recommendations set out by the AHS COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group. I think it’s important to highlight there are almost no medical conditions that would universally warrant a complete exemption from initial COVID-19 vaccination.

We have seen how interactions with patients on this topic may become emotional and difficult. If a patient becomes abusive toward a physician, staff member or other patients because a vaccination exemption request is denied, you have the right to ask that patient to leave the premises. You and your team are not expected to tolerate this type of behaviour.

I recognize these are trying times for frontline healthcare workers and I thank you for your continued dedication to patient safety. If you have any questions or require additional support, please reach out to us at

Scott McLeod, MD, MPH, MPA, CCFP, FCFP
Registrar and CEO


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