Quebec to launch COVID-19 vaccine passport by the fall
Quebec’s health minister has revealed plans for a provincial COVID-19 vaccine passport.
At a press conference on July 8, Christian Dubé said the measure will be introduced when all Quebecers have had the chance to get two doses – around September 1.
Quebec’s vaccine passport will be used “if, and only if” there is a COVID-19 outbreak, or if the epidemiology data necessitates it, Dubé said.
If such a situation occurs, proof of immunization will be required to access certain sectors that are deemed high or moderate risk, such as gyms, bars, and sports games.
Rather than closing down entire sectors or forcing entire cities into lockdown in the case of a fourth wave, the system will allow those who are fully vaccinated to continue to live their lives in the “new normal.”
Vaccine passports will become “one more instrument” in the management of cases, contacts, and outbreaks, he said.
“With the vaccine, we have an alternative to generalized confinement,” Dubé said. “We need to avoid another lockdown at all costs.”
“[The passports] will be good for society, good for education, for the economy and for the health network.”
While people have the right to not get immunized, they need to understand that their access to certain sectors may be restricted if there is an outbreak, Dubé said.
He stressed that vaccine passports will not be used to gain access to public or essential services.
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In April, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said vaccine passports were “to be expected” for Canadians.
Several national polls have shown that the majority of Canadians support the measure for access to large gatherings and for international travel.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, said on Thursday morning that 78% of Canadians aged 12 and up have had their first vaccine dose, and 44% are fully vaccinated.
To date, the country has seen 1,418,632 COVID-19 cases and 26,387 virus-related deaths.