Alberta introducing printable COVID-19 vaccination card
Printable card of COVID-19 vaccination records available starting Thursday
UPDATE: On Wednesday, the Alberta government said printable copies of COVID-19 vaccination records will be available starting Sept. 19, not Sept. 16 as originally stated.
Albertans will be able to print card-size copies of their COVID-19 vaccination records starting Sept. 16, the government announced Tuesday.
The same information will be available to show on phones and tablets, the province said in a news release.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro encouraged Albertans to sign up for MyHealth Records so they can download their vaccination records.
"We continue to make it easier for Albertans to securely access their health information, including immunization records, in the palm of their hand any time and anywhere through MyHealth Records," Shandro said in a statement.
"More Albertans are signing up for this tool every day to access their health information, and if you haven't done so already, I encourage you to sign up now."
The announcement of the printable card comes amid discussion around a vaccine passport system continues throughout the province. Doctors, the Opposition NDP, business groups and others in Alberta have pushed for the government to introduce vaccine passports.
Premier Jason Kenney has previously said that Alberta would not mandate vaccine passports, in part because it would contravene the province's Health Information Act.
But last week, Shandro said the government continues to weigh the pros and cons of the passports, which would mandate vaccination for anyone wanting to go into bars, restaurants and access other non-essential services.
British Columbia and Quebec have implemented vaccine passports while Ontario's goes into effect Sept. 22.
Passport announcements have led to a rise in vaccination rates in other provinces, but have also seen protests from those who call them invasive and unfair intrusions.
People are advised to plan ahead and save their proof of vaccination card on their phone, or print it out, before the date they expect to need it. MyHealth Records may experience high traffic volume before major events and long weekends, the news release said.
MyHealth Records currently offers printable immunization records in document form.
Albertans looking to access MyHealth Records must first have a MyAlberta Digital ID. A MyAlberta Digital ID account can be created at account.alberta.ca using an Alberta driver's licence or identification card.
More than 110,000 Albertans have created their MyHealth Records account in the last three weeks, bringing the total number of users to about 910,000.
The province is also working on making proof of vaccination available through a QR code that will be "an easier, faster and more secure way to share the immunization record when needed."
The QR code is expected to be available in the coming weeks, the government said Tuesday.