There were few clear answers from B.C. health officials Thursday (Aug. 5) about whether or not the province would head towards a vaccine passport system for non-essential services.
“We’re looking at all options and continue to look at all options,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “What we have said is that we will not be denying people essential services based on their vaccination status.”
Questions about vaccine passports came just hours after Quebec Premier François Legault announced such a system would be coming to that province in the fall. While Legault did not specify exactly what consequences unvaccinated people may face, a similar initiative in New York City would see denying access to indoor fitness and dining establishments to those who are not fully immunized. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is considering mandatory COVID vaccination in some federally regulated sectors, said that he is in support of Legault’s plan.
However, B.C. officials seemed unwilling to commit one way or the other on the issue, with Health Minister Adrian Dix echoing Henry in saying that the province was looking at all options.
Dix did note that British Columbians will soon have increased access to their vaccination records, although he did not elaborate as to what scenarios may require an individual to present such information.
“What we’re working on in B.C. is making it easier and easier for people to access their own records, because as a practical matter, not just for those who want to travel internationally, it will be important to have access to your own records,” Dix said.
“I would say to everyone that no, you are not obliged to get vaccinated in B.C. or anywhere else in Canada – but there are consequences if you don’t.”
– with files from The Canadian Press