Now that the Pfizer vaccine has full federal approved and more employers are requiring its staff to be vaccinated, some Americans are looking for ways they could qualify for a COVID vaccine exemption. 

Each individual state and organization has their own set of vaccine requirements and exemptions and while medical and religious exemptions are common, in the case of the Pfizer vaccine, there are almost no contraindications that would prompt valid requests. 

The only contraindication listed by the Food and Drug Administration for the Pfizer vaccine is a “known history of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of COMIRNATY.” This means that a person would have to be severely allergic to a component of the vaccine.

The COVID vaccine is also contraindicated for people with severe or immediate allergic reactions to the vaccine up to four hours after receiving the shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Symptoms of such allergic reactions include hives, respiratory distress and swelling.

People who have experienced allergic reactions to other vaccines are advised to seek precaution but it is not a contraindication to vaccination, the CDC added.

“People will seek an exemption for all sorts of reasons, but there are not very many valid ones,” John Grabenstein, director of scientific communications for the Immunization Action Coalition, told NBC News. 

As for religious exemptions, it varies widely as there is no nationally standardized system of navigating those exemptions, the Washington Post reported. For example, some states require people to sign a document certifying they have a religious-based objection to the vaccine. Meanwhile, other states require a detailed explanation of the individual’s religious beliefs.  

Though some churches and religious institutions have been offering their followers downloadable exemption templates, not all religious leaders are eager to provide exemptions. 

“I have sympathy for their situation, but I don’t know them and their motive and patterns for how they’ve viewed other vaccines,” Garrett Kell, a pastor at Del Ray Baptist Church in Alexandria, told the Post after he had been receiving requests from people outside his church.

So far, the United States has administered over 380 million vaccines, of which over 205 million are people who received at least one dose of the vaccine. 

As more states and organizations set vaccine mandates, people who seek vaccine exemptions will have to navigate the requirements on an individual basis as each institution establishes its own set of guidelines for exemptions.