Concerns over fake COVID-19 vaccine exemption letters in B.C.

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Health officials are concerned over doctors offering potentially fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine exemptions. was apparently a Kelowna-based website offering vaccine exemptions, although it has since taken down that promise.

Dr. Jeffrey Eppler, an emergency physician at Kelowna General Hospital, said she is disappointed that possibly fake vaccine exemption letters are being issued.

“I think it’s fairly deplorable,” he said. “For a physician to basically issue these certificates based on, I think, probably not very strong medical exemptions is almost fraudulent in my opinion.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said officials are investigating the allegations.

“Yes, I’ve seen a number of the so-called certificates from a number of physicians, and yes, the college has the responsibility as the regulatory authority to reach out and take action,” she said.

B.C.’s College of Physicians and Surgeons confirms that they have received reports of illegitimate vaccine exemption and deferral letters being used by British Columbians who don’t have a vaccine card.

There are very few, mostly temporary, valid reasons for a medical deferral.

Henry said “We’ve put out guidance for physicians on what constitutes a valid medical exemption and what constitutes fraud, to be frank.”

Global news explained that “some of the reasons include anaphylaxis confirmed by an allergist to certain ingredients that are in both kinds of vaccines, a diagnosis of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or a patient who had a serious adverse reaction to the first dose of the vaccine and is still waiting for a recommendation from a medical health officer.”

Vaccine exemption or deferrals can only be given out by physicians licensed by B.C.’s College of Physicians and Surgeons or nurse practitioners licensed by the B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives.

The exemption/deferrals must state the patient’s full name and the issuing physician’s name and signature.

This article was originally sourced by Global News.