British Columbians will "absolutely" have COVID-19 immunization records once vaccine rolls out

Dec 10 2020, 4:59 pm

A day after she announced that the COVID-19 vaccine would be available in BC starting next week, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said people immunized with the COVID-19 vaccine in BC will have official records of their immunization and what product they’ve received.

“The details are still being worked out, but the short answer is yes, absolutely, we all need to have an immunization record,” she said during a press conference on Thursday.

She noted that with seven different products expected to eventually be available in Canada, “we need to make sure that you get your second doses with the right vaccine.”

A complete record is also important in case “there’s a safety signal or some reason we need to know who had which vaccine; we’re able to follow up with people rapidly.”

Henry added that an immunization registry already exists in the province, and “what we’re working on… is how do we get the information quickly into that registry and get info out of that registry so you can have access to your immunization record electronically, as well as the hard copy.”

Henry’s comments come after the Ontario government said it could have what it has dubbed COVID-19 immunity passports.

According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, because Ontario is in Phase 1 of the vaccine delivery, options for tracking and surveillance of vaccines “is under consideration.”

“This includes exploring developing tech-based solutions while also providing for alternative options to ensure equitable access to any potential ‘immunity passport,’” the spokesperson told Daily Hive in a statement earlier this week.

On Thursday, BC health officials announced 723 new test-positive coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 40,060.

Broken down by health region, this equates to 135 new cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 456 in the Fraser Health region, 10 in the Island Health region, 82 in the Interior Health region, and 40 in the Northern Health region.

Calling it “one of the most tragic days yet,” Henry said there have been 28 more deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the provincial death toll to 587.

There are 9,524 active cases in the province, with 346 in hospital, 83 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Currently, 11,947 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.

Henry said that 28,948 individuals who tested positive have now recovered.