vaccine passport

Here's what vaccine passports could be like in Ontario if they're similar to Quebec's

Not only do COVID-19 vaccines serve the obvious purpose of protecting people against the dreaded virus, but in the future, they will also potentially be the ticket to get into concerts and other large-scale events, to embark on international travel, and potentially more as fears of a resurgence loom.

The concept of a vaccine card or passport has been controversial, but some Canadian provinces have already confirmed that they will exist, and are working on how they will function.

The Quebec government provided further details on Thursday about which kinds of activities will require proof of vaccination there, giving an idea of how things could look in neighbouring Ontario and elsewhere.

Premier Francois Legault's team said that the passports will come into play after all eligible residents have had the opportunity to get both doses — likely by Sept. 1 — and that they will only be employed in certain non-essential settings and high-risk circumstances.

"Rather than closing sectors of activity, it would be necessary to be double vaccinated to access certain activities," Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé clarified in a press conference today.

"The vaccination passport will be used if, and only if, the transmission or outbreaks justify it in a sector or in a territory."

Examples include getting into a gym or bar when infection numbers would, pre-vaccines, perhaps necessitate a full closure. The idea is limiting access to only those who are fully vaccinated to ensure that risk of further spread, as well as another wave, is mitigated.

Those who have been inoculated in the province have already received a special QR code that will potentially be scanned by businesses through an app, using scanners provided by the province.

Though the announcement has faced some criticism, it is in line with the direction that many governments worldwide are heading in.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau likewise said earlier this year that he was in talks with other countries about "some sort of proof of vaccination or vaccine certification," a version of which already exists nationally as the ArriveCan app.

Given how close Legault and Ontario Premier Doug Ford seem to be, as well as how various provinces have taken tips from others' leads as far as lockdown and reopening are concerned, residents of Ontario shouldn't be too surprised if our own proof of vaccination program is pretty similar to Quebec's.

Lead photo by

Michael Garron Hospital

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