GPs being pressured to provide vaccine exemptions - RNZCGP

Source: 1News

Some GPs are being pressured by their patients to provide vaccine exemptions , despite them not being available yet. 

Doctor at work

The Government will set out the process next week, with Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins warning on Wednesday police would deal with aggressive demands for an exemption

Hipkins warned if someone is offering to sell a person an exemption or suggesting they should pay a fee for the service of getting one, "they are trying to rip you off".

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield also had a message for those trying to find ways around the system.

"This new central process, which has not yet opened is the only valid process through which anyone can obtain an exemption."

About 40 per cent of the country's workers are required to be vaccinated against Covid-19. This includes health and education workers. 

The Immunisation Advisory Centre states fewer than 100 people in New Zealand are unable to have the Pfizer vaccine. 

Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) president Dr Samantha Murton told Breakfast on Thursday it had told its members not to give exemptions out until the Ministry of Health had outlined the process.

Many of its members had seen patients coming in with "vast quantities" of documentation trying to get one. 

Murton said people had been verbally abusive "at times", with some members saying they had been threatened with being taken to the Health and Disability Commissioner. 

She said this was "uncalled for". 

Murton thought those who would be exempt would be people who have had a severe allergic reaction after the first dose or those with an inflammatory heart condition, which is line with what the Immunisation Advisory Centre has said.