Medical Exemption Certificates granted for Covid-19 vaccination: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

Under the Freedom of Information Act I would be grateful if you could please advise me of the number of people who have been granted Medical Exemption Certificates for Covid 19 Vaccination.


1. The Scottish Government received a breakdown of medical exemptions statistics from National Services Scotland (NSS) which provides information on the number of medical exemption certificates requested and the status of the requests. I have included this below as Annex A.

The data provided is not broken down specifically to confirm whether they were granted an exemption based on vaccination or vaccination/testing. The Scottish Government do not routinely collect this information and this data may be held by National Services Scotland (NSS). Further information on how to contact NSS can be found on their website here.

In addition it should also be noted that from 06 December 2021, the domestic certification scheme was extended to include the alternative option of providing a record of a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 24 hours. This means that people who have not yet been fully vaccinated will be able to attend venues that require certification provided they have a record of a recent negative test.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Covid certification scheme - information for customers guidance provides information on how the Covid certification scheme works including those who are exempt. I have included an extract from the guidance below for your convenience.

People who are exempt (including but not limited to):

  • People who for medical reasons are unable to (i) to be fully vaccinated and (ii) to take a test (lateral flow or PCR)

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice is that very few people cannot be safely vaccinated. If vaccination is not straightforward for some individuals, support is available to help  them achieve the benefits of protection from the COVID-19 vaccines. Local vaccination centres can help answer questions about the vaccine and can advise what arrangements may be put in place to enable safe vaccination.

In the rare cases where that support is provided and does not lead to vaccination then the person will be identified as clinically unable to safely receive the vaccine and in which case they will still be able to access venues and events using a negative LFT. It is only in the exceptional cases where people are both clinically unable to safely receive the vaccine; and clinically unable to safely use an LFT would they then receive a secure paper exemption certificate in the post.

Medical Exemption Statistics

Figures Updated: 18 January 2022

Requests total


Exemptions granted




waiting to be processed


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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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