How will B.C.'s vaccine card work?


 Details of B.C.'s so-called "vaccine passport" system have been revealed by health officials, and residents of the province are asked to sign up online.

The website, which launched early Tuesday morning, asks for a resident's personal health number, date of birth and date of COVID-19 vaccine. Those who already use the B.C. Services Card app can alternately log in that way.

Once the information is entered, the user can access a downloadable "B.C. Vaccine Card," which contains a QR code that will serve as proof they've been vaccinated when the passport system rolls out starting next week.

This code is a square-shaped graphic which is similar to a bar code, and can be scanned on digital devices including smartphones.

It can be printed off for those without smartphones to carry, or saved on the card-holder's phone. Those without access to a computer can call the provincial vaccine line (1-833-838-2323) and request that a printed card be mailed to them.

The card will show whether a person is vaccinated with both doses or just one, or whether there is no record of a vaccine in the provincial registry.

The vaccine card system is set to begin Sept. 13, at which time visitors to non-essential businesses such as restaurants and movie theatres will need at least one dose to enter.

The official launch is next week, but the health ministry said there will be a transition period up to and including Sept. 26, during which time vaccinated individuals can obtain their card. Paper records from vaccine clinics will be accepted as proof of vaccine during this time.

By Oct. 24, they'll need to have both doses, and won't be considered fully vaccinated for seven days after the second shot.

This requirement is currently in place until Jan. 31, but could be extended.

Businesses can either scan the card through an app, or just look at the card and visually verify the name and other information.

Addressing privacy concerns, the provincial health ministry said the app used to scan these codes only reads vaccine information, and that the "absolute minimum" details are provided to businesses.

No other health information will be accessible or stored on the app or phone.

- with files from CTV -