Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday October 17, 2021
Ontarians can begin downloading QR code COVID-19 vaccine certificates
Ontario is making enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificates with QR codes available for download beginning over the next three days, starting Friday morning with those born between January and April before expanding to more residents.
An update added to the Ontario Health site last night says that the initial, phased three-day rollout is intended to ensure a “smooth user experience” for those who want to download their enhanced certificate as soon as possible.
Enhanced certificates are not mandatory and Ontarians can continue using their current vaccine receipt if they wish.
At a briefing for media Friday, officials said the purpose of the QR code system is to make vaccination status screening more efficient for businesses and more secure for the public. Roughly 83 per cent of those eligible in the province have now had two doses of vaccine.
The QR codes “mean we can allow businesses the comfort to keep operating safely,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at a news conference after the briefing.
“They mean we can continue to get back to doing things we want without losing the gains we’ve made,” he said, noting they will help prevent any further shutdowns in the province.
Officials said the QR codes will reveal less personal information than the current vaccine receipts do. The codes include a person’s name, date of birth and whether they have received two doses of vaccine, with their last shot at least 14 days prior.
It does not contain which brand or brands of vaccine a person received, or the specific dates of their shots. That information is included on the broader enhanced certificate itself, but is not transmitted through the QR codes, officials said. (CBC)