Ontario’s health minister says residents who get a COVID-19 vaccine will be issued proof they received a shot which may be necessary to avoid some restrictions.
Christine Elliott said Tuesday it may be required to access certain settings after the worst of the pandemic passes.
“That’s going to be really important for people to have for travel purposes, perhaps for work purposes, for going to theatres or cinemas or any other places where people will be in closer physical contact when we get through the worst of the pandemic,” Elliott said.
“So yes, that will be essential for people to have that.”
Elliott was asked about the possibility of some sort of vaccination proof — for instance, a card — after she alluded to the possibility that some people may face restrictions if they choose to not receive a coronavirus vaccine.
“This is not going to be a mandatory campaign. It will be voluntary,” Elliott said.
“There may be some restrictions that may be placed on people that don’t have (a vaccine) … but that will be up to the individual person to decide whether they want to receive the vaccine to be able to do these things or not. But it is voluntary.”
Elliott said the province will soon be announcing the initial sites where vaccines will be stored. She noted that there are over 21 hospitals in Ontario that have the freezing capability to store the Pfizer vaccine.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada is expecting to receive 249,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine — which is still awaiting Health Canada approval — by the end of the year.
Elliott said her understanding is that the vaccines will be distributed throughout the country on a per-capita basis, meaning Ontario will get just under 40 per cent of the initial doses.
She added that Ontario will have a “public campaign of education and awareness” targeting those who may be hesitant to get a shot once mass vaccinations begin.