Doctors who issue bogus vaccine, mask exemptions could have license suspended


Aaron Kunkler


Falsifying vaccine cards or providing unwarranted vaccine exemptions could result in disciplinary action, according to the Washington State Department of Health. 

In a press release, the department stated that health care providers have a “professional obligation” to educate and inform their patients about COVID-19, based on science and facts. 


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“When health care professionals provide medically inaccurate information to their patients it erodes patient trust in the health care system,” the statement reads. 

The department and its boards and commissions review all complaints about health care providers who allegedly grant vaccine or mask exemptions that aren’t based on established science or verifiable fact. It further states that practitioners that falsify information on a vaccine card or issue vaccine or mask exemptions without conducting an appropriate exam, and without finding a real medical reason to support an exemption, may be subject to disciplinary action, which can include license suspension. 

Washingtonians are encouraged to file a complaint if they believe a health care professional is issuing vaccine cards or exemptions inappropriately. They should also file a complaint if they feel their provider is giving inaccurate information about the virus to patients. 

Washington State does have a medical exemption for those unable to receive a vaccination for a verifiable medical reason. While it’s unclear exactly what constitutes this, Yale Health states that people with a severe allergic reaction to any component of an mRNA or Johnson & Johnson vaccine should not receive one. The Centers for Disease Control also have more information on potential allergies

There have been recent instances of doctors allegedly selling COVID-19 vaccine and mask exemptions in Washington State. A KING 5 investigation found an Ellensburg doctor appeared to be selling exemptions for between $150 to $200 each. In one instance, one of the reporters stated to a medical assistant that he didn’t have a qualifying medical condition that would qualify him to receive an exemption, but was issued an exemption anyway. 

The report states that the Department of Health was investigating at least two COVID-related complaints about the doctor. The report states that former employees stated the doctor did not conduct proper exams to determine if patients actually had qualifying medical conditions that would exempt them from vaccinations or wearing masks in public. 

In another investigation by KIRO 7, it was found that online exemption mills were operating in similar ways. Patients could complete a brief survey and receive an exemption claiming to be from a doctor. 

Using or supplying fake vaccine cards, which is a different but related phenomena, can be reported to the FBI

More information from the Department of Health on receiving a vaccination can be found here