SIMPLE, SECURE, SCANNABLE: ALBERTA’S NDP CALLS FOR VACCINE PASSPORT
CALGARY – In order to protect people, protect hospitals and protect the provincial economy, Alberta’s NDP is calling for the introduction of simple, secure and scannable vaccine passports that would be required for entry to non-essential businesses and mass gathering settings across the province.
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley presented the proposal in Calgary on Thursday, as Premier Jason Kenney refuses to present a plan for his government’s response to the fourth wave. If implemented by the UCP this fall, the proposed passport would be available on smartphones or downloadable online.
The passport would feature a QR code — unique to each Albertan — that can be easily scannable at airports, sporting arenas, concert venues, businesses and other settings to provide required proof of vaccination. The program would be similar to one introduced in Ontario on Wednesday. In essential settings, such as grocery stores, Notley said the province needs to establish a mask mandate.
“In this vacuum of leadership, Albertans are doing what they do best: stepping up and making decisions to protect their families, their communities, their jobs, and their businesses,” said Notley, noting that several major employers, sports franchises and federally regulated industries will soon require vaccine verification, even without provincial government guidance.
“Let’s be clear, vaccine verification is coming to Alberta whether Jason Kenney likes it or not. The UCP must follow other provinces and step up. By providing Albertans with easy and secure access to their immunization records while establishing a verification standard for public settings, Albertans who are vaccinated can protect their neighbours and continue to do the things they love to do.”
Our Alberta Vaccine Passport would be:
- Simple to access on smartphones or online, allowing easy printing of verification.
- Secure “YES” or “NO” verification specific to COVID-19. MyHealth Records currently produces a full immunization record.
- Scannable via a simple QR code unique to each and every Albertan, making the process easy for individuals as well as organizations.
Currently, more than 90 per cent of Albertans who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 are not fully vaccinated. Even today, more than 1.1 million eligible Albertans are not fully vaccinated, as well as 660,000 ineligible children under the age of 12 years old.
“This vaccine passport will encourage more Albertans to get vaccinated, which is of course the bigger goal, while also lowering the chance of unvaccinated Albertans contracting the virus in public settings,” said NDP Health Critic David Shepherd. “Vaccines keep us safe and give us hope. They mean if we get infected we’ll have less severe symptoms and that hospitals will still have capacity to treat people with cancer, heart failure, or injuries from accidents. It means we can truly put this pandemic behind us.”
Currently, there are 12,290 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta. There are 465 Albertans in hospital, 107 of whom are fighting for their lives in the ICU.