How to download your vaccine passport in Ontario
Many are wondering how to download their vaccine passport in Ontario this week now that bars, restaurants, gyms and other select indoor public settings will soon require entrants to show proof of inoculation against COVID-19.
Starting Wednesday, non-exempt residents will in these places need to show valid ID plus the document provided to them by the Ministry of Health after their second immunization appointment (or both, if desired), which was emailed and/or physically printed out.
This slip will serve as a valid certificate until the Ontario-designed app and its associated "enhanced digital vaccine receipt" in the form of a QR code system are rolled out sometime before Oct. 22.
To avoid having to search through your inbox — which you can do using terms like "COVaxON" or "Ministry of Health" — the province has a link at which you can download your existing forms by entering a few personal details such as your health card number and birth date. The Toronto Public Library is among those offering free printing services for those who want their physical copy.
Citizens can call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-390 if they are having any issues, while those who received their first or second dose out of province should contact their local public health unit to record their information and receive proper documentation.
There have also been a number of handy guides shared across social media for how to save the proof to your phone for quick and easy access.
One helpful TikTok video that has garnered more than 341k views and 33.5k likes in just one day outlines how to make your certificate into an icon on your phone's home screen: first, save the PDF email attachment to your phone as a file, then use the shortcuts app (on iPhone) to add a new shortcut that directs to the file (... > add action > apps > files > the document).
The shortcut can then be customized to have a specific name (like "vaccine passport"), colour and icon (in the user's example, she selected a needle).
There are also new tools to help you save your proof of inoculation to your Apple Wallet.
Anyone who has a valid medical reason for not receiving the jab will need to show a doctor's note until the QR codes, which will account for valid exemptions, arrive.
The provincial government has vowed to "provide additional tools to improve user experience, efficiency and business supports in the coming weeks," which includes "establishing alternative tools for people with no email, health card or ID."
Just one more day until we see how smoothly (or perhaps chaotically) the integration process of the passport in its interim iteration goes over.
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