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B.C. announces vaccine card specifics

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:50 PDT, Tue September 7, 2021

The province is launching the BC Vaccine Card, a digital or printed document that shows the stage cardholders are at in their COVID-19 vaccine progress.

The BC Vaccine Card will allow vaccinated people to show their proof of vaccination at higher-risk social and recreational events and settings when new COVID-19 vaccine requirement rules take effect on Monday (Sept. 13). 

People can get their BC Vaccine Card online at gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard. To access proof of vaccination, people will enter their personal health number, date of birth and date of vaccination (either Dose 1 or Dose 2). Once verified, a person will be able to save a digital copy to their mobile device or print a hard copy to present along with their government-issued photo identification when entering designated businesses and events.

People without access to a computer and printer can get their card by calling 1 833 838-2323 at the Get Vaccinated call centre and get their printed copy mailed to them. They can have a trusted friend, family member or support person print their card for them. Or they can visit a Service BC Centre to get one.

"The BC Vaccine Card is a show of confidence," said Health Minister Adrian Dix. "It says in our pandemic—when doing the right thing to stop the spread is the mandate we all share in—that we're doing the right thing by being vaccinated. That we're making the best choices. That right now, especially with a surge in cases primarily in groups of unvaccinated people, we're doing exactly what's required to save lives."

The BC Vaccine Card will include a secure, individualized QR code and image showing either "vaccinated" or "partially vaccinated." Businesses can either scan the QR code using a QR reader like a smartphone or tablet or visually verify the person's proof of vaccination. A mobile QR code reader app will be released in app stores closer to Monday for businesses that choose to scan the QR code. 

"Getting vaccinated is the proven choice to protect ourselves and the people around us. The requirement for proof of vaccine will make our communities safer and also ensure that events and gatherings are safer for all of us," said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. "I encourage everyone to get their BC Vaccine Card to protect their community, support their local businesses and each other."

This new requirement is being implemented through orders from the provincial health officer. As of Monday, one dose of vaccine will be required for entry to these settings. From Sept. 13 to 26, people will also be able to use the vaccination records they received at B.C. vaccine clinics or pharmacies as valid proof of vaccination. Starting Sept. 27, only the BC Vaccine Card will be accepted for people vaccinated in B.C. By Oct. 24, entry to these settings will require people to be fully vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

In areas where community transmission is increased significantly or where there are outbreaks, the requirements to be fully vaccinated to access some events and activities may be required earlier at the direction of a local medical health officer.

Individuals will show proof of vaccination in the settings listed in the public health orders, alongside one piece of government-issued photo identification for people 19+. People 12 to 18 years old do not need to show identification.

Proof of vaccination will also be required for people visiting from outside of B.C. using a provincially/territorially recognized official record alongside valid government photo ID.

For individuals visiting from outside of Canada, they will be required to show the record of vaccination they use to enter Canada and their passport.

Tickets can be issued to individuals, owners/operators of locations and event organizers for violations of the orders. Enforcement is at the discretion of enforcement officers, including police, liquor and cannabis inspectors, gambling investigators and conservation officers.

The requirement will be time limited through to Jan. 31, 2022, subject to possible extension. To learn more about the vaccine card and how to access yours, visit: gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard

Information for businesses, including step-by-step instructions can be found here.

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