Understanding the COVID-19 vaccine exemption process for GPs

  13 December 2021  NWMPHN   

A new process came into effect for COVID-19 vaccine exemptions from Friday, 29 October 2021.

The small number of Victorians who have a genuine COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption need a Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation medical exemption (IM011) form completed by their GP and submitted to the AIR in order to receive their official vaccine exemption certificate.

Only GPs can complete this form. There are very few situations where a vaccine is contraindicated and, so medical exemption is expected to be rarely required.

The suggested process is:

  • Read the ATAGI advice on allowable exemptions. Note that:
    • a patient must have medical contraindications to all of the COVID-19 vaccines available for use in Australia in order to be medically exempted from COVID-19 vaccination. If a patient has a medical contraindication to one brand of COVID-19 vaccine, they may be able to be offered an alternate brand, if suitable
    • a temporary exemption can be granted for acute major medical illness including recent COVID-19 infection.
  • Use the Victorian Department of Health form as a conversation guide
  • If a genuine exemption exists complete a IM011 form – information on the completion and upload process for this form is available on the Services Australia website. Following validation, a COVID-19 medical exemption certificate will be issued if the patient has a medical contraindication to all COVID-19 vaccines available for use in Australia, or if temporary exemption criteria are met.

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