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B.C. launches vaccine card system, going into effect on Sept. 13

After Sept. 13, proof of vaccine (one dose) will be needed to access a number of events or settings, including indoor or outdoor dining at restaurants, pubs, bars and lounges, night clubs, casinos, movie theatres, fitness centres, gyms, indoor adult sports and organized indoor events with 50 or more people. After Oct. 24, proof of two doses will be required
vaccine card BC
B.C.'s vaccine card system will return one of three results when the QR code is scanned by a business or event host. The card will be accessible via app or website, and paper copies can be printed.

Further details of B.C.'s vaccination card service have been unveiled by the provincial government.

The vaccine card comes in digital and paper versions, but is ultimately accessed online via the provincial government's website at gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard.

After Sept. 13, British Columbians will need to prove they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to access a number of events or settings, including indoor or outdoor dining at restaurants, pubs, bars and lounges, night clubs, casinos, movie theatres, fitness centres, gyms, indoor adult sports and organized indoor events with 50 or more people.

Proof of two doses will be required after Oct. 24.

Those looking to get a copy of their card will need to provide their provincial health number, date of birth and the date when they received their first or second dose of the vaccine.

Once that information is entered, an app, paper copy or digital copy on a phone will display a QR code (a barcode-like image) that can be used to verify vaccination status.

Businesses can use a provided verification app to verify the QR codes or simply visually check the card, which will display vaccinated, partially vaccinated or "no record found." A piece of government-issued ID will also need to accompany the card for those 19 and older.

The rationale for the vaccine card system is B.C.'s recent increase in cases, especially among those who are unvaccinated. On Tuesday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry laid out her reasoning.

Henry said unvaccinated people are 12 times as likely to become infected with COVID-19, 34 times more likely to be hospitalized and eight times as likely to die as a result of infection.

"It's abundantly clear that the fourth wave is confined to those who are unvaccinated," Premier John Horgan said.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 7, 85.1 per cent of British Columbians age 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Henry also said that fines can be issued for violations of provincial health office orders, by a variety of enforcement personnel, including police, community safety units, liquor or cannabis inspectors, gaming investigators and conservation officers.

Fines vary from $230 to $575 for individuals and up to $2,300 for event organizers and owners/operators.

For those who choose not to be vaccinated, Henry suggested they can support restaurants with take-out orders and exercise outdoors, instead.

One thing the card won't do is restrict access to any government service.

"You do not have to be concerned about not being able to access provincial services or municipal services because you've only had one vaccine, or no vaccines at all," said Premier John Horgan.

For those from outside B.C., proof-of-vaccine will still be required in these settings, and can be provided by other provinces' officially recognized record, and for those from outside Canada, the proof of vaccination used to enter the country can be used.