Ontario Releases Guidelines for Proof of Vaccination

By: Laura Steiner
Ontario has released the guidance, and support resources for its COVID-19 vaccine passport.  The move comes ahead of a September 22 deadline for businesses to begin checking for vaccine status.
“High rates of vaccination against COVID-19 are critical to helping protect our communities and hospital capacity while keeping Ontario schools and businesses safely open,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.  Ontario residents will have to show proof of vaccination beginning one week from tomorrow.
Residents are invited to download or print their vaccination certificate through the provincial booking portal in advance of the deadline.  Anyone needing extra support is asked to call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at: 1-8333-943-3900.
Meanwhile the province continues developing an enhanced vaccine certificate featuring a QR Code.  “The made-in-Ontario enhanced vaccine certificate and for the public, and verification app for businesses are tools to confirm that an individual has been vaccinated while protecting Ontarians’ health data,” Associate Minister of Digital Government Kalheed Rasheed said.  The app, and the enhanced certificate will be available starting October 22, 2021.
The proof of vaccination policy has resulted in an increase to vaccination rates.  In the first week of September 90,000 first doses, and 102,000 second doses were administered to Ontario adults (18-59 years of age).  “The best defense against COVID-19 is getting a vaccine and encouraging everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated too,” Solicitor-General Sylvia Jones said.   The province is implementing a “last mile strategy including the GO-VAXX bus, which has administered over 3,700 doses, half of those being first doses.
The Province continues to recommend third doses for some of the more vulnerable populations in line with guidance from the National Advisory Council on immunization (NACI).  “To provide the best protection to some of our more vulnerable populations, we are offering a third dose to additional groups of immunocompromised people who are more likely to have had a less than adequate immune response to the initial two dose COVID-19 series.  Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said.
Ontario recorded an increase of 577 cases of COVID-19 today.  349 of those are from the “unvaccinated,” and 49 are designated as “vaccination status unknown”.  Halton recorded an increase of 30 cases , with four of them coming from Milton.