As Canada prepares to receive COVID-19 vaccines, possibly next week, Ontario says it will issue proof of vaccination cards. ( via CBC News)

Ontario to issue proof of COVID-19 vaccination cards

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province appears to be the first province in Canada that will issue cards showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

While the debate continues about whether a government can unilaterally impose mandatory vaccination, it may become a moot question if private institutions demand proof of vaccination to access facilities or services.

During her press conference Tuesday, Ontario Minister of Health, Christine Elliot mentions that the province will issue proof of vaccination cards

In late November, Australia’s Qantas airline said when the vaccines become available, it will demand proof of vaccination before passengers can board international flights. The announcement sparked some negative reaction on social media.

Christine Elliot, Ontario’s Minister of Health seemed to refer to such moves during a news conference on Tuesday saying that such card is “going to be really important for people to have for travel purposes, perhaps for work purposes, for going to theatres or cinemas, or any other places where people will be in closer physical contact when we get through the worst of the pandemic”.

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services employee holds a COVID-19 vaccine record card at Operation Warp Speed headquarters in Washington, D.C., Nov. 13, 2020. The cards will be sent out as part of vaccination kits (EJ Hersom, Department of Defense)

Ontario’s announcement this week means it will be joining the US and the UK in issuing such cards.

It is expected that vaccine doses could arrive and begin distribution in Canada next week. Initially the vaccines will be administered to the elderly who are most at risk and to caregivers.

Example of U.K COVID-19 proof of vaccination card. Both sides of the card are displayed that will be given to all recipients of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, at Croydon University Hospital Saturday Dec. 5, 2020.. (Gareth Fuller/Pool via AP)

Gen.(ret) Rick Hillier who is leading the Ontario distribution team said the province will receive enough vaccine to inoculate 1.2 million people during the first three months of 2021. There are over 14 million people in the province.

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