B.C. vaccine card system takes effect

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The province’s COVID-19 vaccine card system took effect Sept. 13. British Columbians are now required to show proof of vaccination to enter non-essential settings such as indoor sporting, indoor concerts, restaurants, bars, gyms and indoor group exercise activities. 

The new requirement is in effect through orders of the provincial health officer.

“With the B.C. vaccine card, we will be able to do more of the things we love that much more safely,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “Public health will continue to monitor the outcomes of the program, and our hope is that we will be able to remove capacity limits and other restrictions, thanks to the protection offered through the BC vaccine card.”

People can get their vaccine card online and keep a digital copy on their mobile device by taking a screenshot or printing a hard copy to present when entering designated businesses and events, the province said.

The card includes a secure individualized QR code and image showing either “vaccinated” or “partially vaccinated.” People are required to have received at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccine and both doses by Oct. 24. B.C. immunization records will only be accepted until Sept. 26, according to the provincial government.

“Today’s implementation of the B.C. vaccine card is a vital achievement in our B.C. pandemic,” said Adrian Dix, minister of health. “It says we have vaccines to fight COVID-19, that we are getting our vaccines to stop the spread, and that we can have confidence in attending certain events and activities knowing that those around us are vaccinated, too.”

Businesses can download the BC Vaccine Card Verifier App from the Google Play and Apple App stores and use the app to verify customers’ vaccine cards, or visually verify the person’s proof of vaccination. A government-issued photo is required for those over 19.

The provincial call centre now has a dedicated line for businesses to call with their questions on the BC Vaccine Card. British Columbians can call 1-833-838-2323, select option 1, then option 3.

Since the vaccine card was announced on Sept. 7, more than 2.2 million people have obtained their cards, according to the province.

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