Ontario health units want provincial vax cert, exploring regional options on policy


Published August 26, 2021 at 2:13 pm

TORONTO — A group representing Ontario’s public health units says it is exploring regional approaches to COVID-19 vaccination policies in the absence of provincial direction.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, head of the Local Association of Public Health Agencies, says the group wants the province to bring in a vaccine certificate system, which would limit access to non-essential activities to those who are fully immunized.

He says the association has written to the province’s chief medical officer with recommendations on a vaccine certificate system, among other issues.

Without provincial direction, Roumeliotis says health units are looking at regional approaches instead.

He also says the province needs standardized proof-of-vaccination as more businesses and institutions are requiring vaccination for access.

A spokeswoman for the health minister pointed to the receipts people can download or print after receiving their COVID-19 shots as an option should proof of vaccination be required.

Roumeliotis and others have argued, however, that those receipts could be forged and are difficult to read.

Peel Region’s top doctor said this week that the COVID-19 hot spot is looking at options for a local vaccine certificate system if the province doesn’t develop one.

British Columbia and Quebec have said they will require proof of vaccination to enter certain settings but Ontario has not indicated it will implement a similar system.

Premier Doug Ford has rejected the idea of a domestic “vaccine passport,” saying he doesn’t want a “split society.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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