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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 covid19@cpsa.ab.ca.

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

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