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Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
28 February 2022
Last updated:

This statement updates Members about the inclusion of third primary vaccines on the Covid Pass, medical exemptions for the domestic Covid Pass and a pilot scheme to recognise vaccines authorised for use in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which have been administered outside the UK.

Covid Pass and third primary vaccinations

I have been working with the UK Government and partners in Wales for some time to ensure that third primary doses for people who are clinically vulnerable or immunosuppressed are shown on the Covid Pass. I can confirm that from 25 February, these vaccines are now correctly being shown. Anyone who is still experiencing problems with the Pass displaying their vaccination information should email: 

Evidence of single vaccination or prior Covid infection for 12 to 15-year-olds

Since 3 February, 12 to 15-year-olds have been able to apply for a digital Covid Pass by following this link on the website: Get your NHS COVID Pass | GOV.WALES. This digital youth Pass includes 2D barcodes (also known as QR codes) and will include proof of recovery or a prior positive Covid test. This is the same system which applies to adults in Wales and the same system which has been implemented in England.

Medical exemptions

Following discussions with clinical and ethical advisors, we have agreed the following definition for people who are considered to be medically exempt from having Covid vaccinations and from taking a lateral flow test for the purpose of using a domestic Covid Pass.

People will be considered medically exempt if they:

  1. Have had a previous systemic anaphylaxis reaction to a Covid vaccine and are not able to receive an alternative vaccine through the national allergy pathway and referral service.
  1. Have had a prior anaphylactic reaction to any component (excipient) of the Covid vaccine and are not able to receive an alternative vaccine through the national allergy pathway and referral service.
  1. Have had a severe adverse event associated with a Covid vaccine resulting in hospitalisation where no alternative vaccine is available, as assessed by the national referral service.
  1. Are registered as having a severe learning disability or severe autism and have been assessed by a health board learning and disability service as unable to receive a vaccine after reasonable adjustments and for whom best interest statements have been made in conjunction with the individual, their family or carers and the learning and disability service.  
  1. Are medically unable to take a lateral flow test (LFT). This could include people who have severe nose and throat abnormalities; severe learning disabilities with challenging behaviours, or an allergy to lateral flow test swab materials. This will need to be verified by a clinician.

People in the first three categories will automatically be contacted by NHS Wales and will receive a letter confirming their exemption.

People in category four will be contacted by the learning disabilities services in their health board area to discuss if further reasonable adjustments can be made before deciding whether to give an exemption.

People in category five will need to fill in this form on the Welsh Government website, including details of their clinician who can verify their medical exemption. Their case will then be considered by independent clinicians.

If individuals who believe that they are medically exempt have not been contacted by the end of March and believe they are eligible in one of the categories listed, they can apply for an exemption using the form on the Welsh Government website or by contacting their health board.

Medical exemptions will not apply to the Covid Pass for international travel as the entry criteria for the country people are travelling to, is determined by that country and not by the UK. Anyone travelling outside the UK should check the criteria for the country they are travelling to before making travel arrangements and again before travelling, as entry requirements may change at short notice.

We are continuing to work on a digital service for medical exemptions via the NHS Covid Pass.

Addition of vaccines to the Covid Pass administered outside the UK

Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board has agreed to run a short pilot scheme to test how information about Covid vaccines administered outside the UK can be integrated into the Covid Pass in Wales. During the pilot, only the 4 MHRA approved vaccines AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty) and Janssen will be integrated.

The results will be reported back to me, which will enable a quick decision to be made about the timing and scope of the rollout of the scheme nationally. In the meantime, individuals who have been vaccinated outside the UK, should use evidence provided to them by the country in which they were vaccinated, to prove their vaccination status.

I will update Members when the results of the pilot are available.