Vaccination exemptions

A person must meet certain eligibility requirements in order to obtain an exemption from vaccination. See Immunisation Medical exemptions for further information.

For vaccine exemptions related to children attending early childhood services, see Early childhood services and immunisation requirements.

COVID-19 vaccination exemption

Criteria are listed in the ATAGI Expanded Guidance on temporary medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines.

Applying for an exemption

  1. For healthcare setting workers required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under the South Australian Public Health Act, 2011, in accordance with the SA Health Addressing vaccine preventable disease: Occupational assessment, screening and vaccination policy (PDF 456KB), whose COVID-19 vaccinations are not up-to-date as defined by ATAGI, the process for applying for a CPHO exemption from vaccination is as follows:
    1. Medical practitioner writes a medical certificate clearly outlining the individual’s reason for medical exemption in line with the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) COVID-19 vaccine exemptions guidelines.
    2. Medical practitioner completes SA Health Chief Public Health Officer Immunisation Exemption Application Form (PDF 68KB) on behalf of the individual (who may be a worker, volunteer or visitor, depending on the specific Direction).
    3. The individual emails the medical certificate and immunisation. exemption application form to
    4. Application for exemption is considered by the South Australian Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO).
    5. If approved, the CPHO provides a signed exemption letter that can be submitted to the individual’s employer, or the manager of the site which a volunteer or visitor seeks to enter.
  1. For individuals required to be vaccinated as a condition of their employment set by their employer, or for any other activity where vaccination is required, e.g. a COVID management plan or event:
    1. Medical practitioner completes online Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) - immunisation medical exemption form for workers with medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination including, possible deferral of up to 4 months from date of testing positive to COVID-19.
    2. Medical practitioner submits completed form to AIR via PRODA account.
    3. Medical practitioner records vaccine exemption due to a medical contraindication online through the AIR site. Vaccine exemptions recorded on the AIR site are processed immediately.
    4. The individual downloads their COVID-19 digital certificate from Medicare online account through myGov to submit to an employer or event manager. The certificate lists the duration of the medical exemption as a ‘valid to’ date. Alternatively, an individual can ask the medical practitioner to print the certificate from the AIR website.
    5. A temporary medical exemption of up to 3 months may be granted from the date of testing positive to COVID-19.