In Newfoundland and Labrador, a number of organizations have announced the requirement of mandatory vaccinations to work and/or access certain businesses and services. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has made it mandatory for public servants to be vaccinated as of December 17th, 2021. The Provincial Government in addition has implemented a Proof of Vaccination program, which requires that all individuals accessing certain businesses and activities present proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Yes: NPs can provide a medical exemption for COVID-19 vaccines if the client meets the criteria outlined by the Provincial Government and it is within the NP’s individual competence.
The College of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador (CRNNL) has sent memos/information on behalf of Government and the CMOH regarding COVID-19 and Medical Exemptions for proof of vaccination program.
As the regulator, the College does not provide clinical direction; however, it requires registrants to follow evidence-informed best practices, standards of practice, legislation, and employer policy. However, the Provincial Government has highlighted in its communications that there are very few medical exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccinations.
Given the rarity of these exemptions and the fact that vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective, NPs are required to follow best practice and carefully evaluate each client’s request, perform an assessment, make accountable and responsible decisions on whether the client meets the criteria for an exemption, and document appropriately.
NPs must clearly document the reason/information that supports or fails to support an exemption for a COVID-19 vaccine in the appropriate place (e.g., via electronic medical record) according to provincial requirements and in adherence to the College’s Documentation Principles. NPs are expected to stay abreast as Government finalizes their process for documenting medical exemptions in the existing COVID-19 immunization documentation system.
The College expects that NPs continually evaluate new evidence as well as the College will endeavor to keep you up to date as new evidence, directions, or legislation are provided by both the Federal and/or Provincial governments related to the COVID-19 Immunization Plans.
For further information on Medical Exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines, refer to the NL’s COVID-19 webpage: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/life-during-covid-19/vaccination-record/citizens/ and/or NACI recommendations: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines.html#a7.8
For up to date information on COVID-19 from the provincial government, refer to: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/
The College also has a COVID-19 webpage: Information for RNs & NPs: https://www.crnnl.ca/information-registered-nurses-and-nurse-practitioners-covid-19
For more information, please contact: