vaccine passport

Here are the only valid medical exemptions for Ontario's vaccine passport

Ontario is kicking off its vaccine passport program in less than two weeks, to both raving support and fierce criticism.

Starting Sept. 22, customers will need to show the digital or paper proof of vaccination they received from the Ministry of Health at their vax appointments to get inside bars, restaurants, movie theatres, casinos, sports games, concerts and other indoor settings, while a QR code app — to be designed here at home — will roll out within the next month.

You must have received two doses of a Health Canada-approved immunization against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to be granted entry.

While anti-vaxxers continue to protest the move, many residents are surely wondering if their medical conditions render them exempt from the measure, or, more nefariously, how they can avoid being subject to it if they are opposed to the inoculation.

According to the province, per CTV News, there are only two valid exemptions for getting fully vaxxed, aside from age, as children under 12 are not yet eligible to receive any of the Health Canada-approved shots.

To be granted an exemption, you must either have an allergy to an ingredient in the vaccine — as proven in writing by an allergist or immunologist — or have experienced inflammation of the heart or its membrane (myocarditis or pericarditis), a rare but known side effect, after your first jab.

You must provide a doctor's note to validate either condition until the advent of the digital certificate, which should be designed to properly accommodate for exemptions.

But, experts told CTV that the conditions that make one exempt pose a challenge because they are "not set in stone," and people with allergies to parts of the vaccine may still be able to get it, albeit under monitoring.

"The medical side of these exceptions is evolving … that’s why you can't nail it down. To say you cannot get [a second] vaccine because you had a reaction to [the first] vaccine is really limiting," the allergy chair of the Ontario Medical Association said.

In Canada, myocarditis/pericarditis and Bell’s Palsy are listed as the most commonly reported side effects of the COVID-19 shot, with men and individuals under 40 at a higher risk, though it is noted those affected comprise only "a small number of people in Canada and internationally."

Lead photo by

Mat Napo

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