CHARBONNEAU – The possibilities for exemption from vaccine mandates range from nil to zero

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

AS VACCINE MANDATES become normal across Canada, detractors are looking for ways to avoid the vaccination. Excuses range from medical exemption to what they hope are conscientious objections.

Doctors are seeing a rise in requests for medical exemption but health officials warn that very few patients will actually qualify.

Most doctors use the requests as an opportunity to explain both why the requests are unlikely to qualify and to educate patients. Those asking for the requests often misunderstand the risks of getting the shot.

Take the risk of blood clots, for example. According to Thrombosis Canada, which specializes in analyzing blood clots, the incidence of those clots is lower for the vaccinated than for those who get COVID-19.

In fact, the rate of incidence for the vaccinated is about the same as the general unvaccinated public.

A small number of doctors are using the opportunity, not to educate but to promote their own views; doctors such as Dr. Charles Hoffe of Lytton. He has had his emergency room privileges revoked while under investigation by health authorities for promoting “vaccine hesitancy.”

Dr. Hoffe went beyond spreading his propaganda to patients and the community to reporting adverse effects to Interior Health. Hoffe wrote a letter to his colleagues suggesting there was “clear evidence of harm and asked them whether they should be pausing their own vaccine rollout to investigate the risk of injury.”

What? You would think that doctors, of all people, would understand the benefits of the COVID vaccine in saving lives.

There are very few conditions that meet the criteria for a medical exemption.

Those include having known anaphylaxis to any of the ingredients in the vaccine confirmed by an allergist or immunologist; having had a significant allergic reaction to the first dose; or myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.

Given this list of rare reasons, it is highly unlikely that many people will qualify for medical exemptions.

The chances of getting a medical exemption for vaccine cards required to enter B.C. theatres, bars, and restaurants is zero — no one is excepted because entry to such places is a personal choice.

Another group looking for exemption would like to be categorized as conscientious objectors; defined as persons who for reasons of conscience object to complying with a particular requirement, usually serving in the armed forces.

Conscientious objectors traditionally believe that war is wrong and they should be exempt because of their beliefs. They object to war because of a sound philosophical argument: if it’s wrong to kill people and since the state recruits citizens to do just that, then conscientious objectors can justifiably be exempt.

Conscientious objectors who object to vaccines have no sound philosophical argument. They object to vaccinations because they don’t want vaccines, which they believe are harmful substances, injected into their bodies.

They believe that vaccine passports are an invasion of their liberty.

These beliefs ignore the benefits to public health and the fact that vaccines and vaccine passports save lives.

The right to infect others and clog up hospitals with these so-called conscientious objectors, who choose to get sick, is not a valid reason for exemption.

David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at

About Mel Rothenburger (9378 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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