Manitobans vaccinated against COVID-19 can now get proof-of-immunization records online
Secure immunization cards will be available later this spring, health minister says
People in Manitoba will now be able to access and print out proof they've been vaccinated against COVID-19, the province says.
Manitobans with a valid Manitoba Health card and a personal email address can access the information on the same Shared Health online portal used to see COVID-19 test results, Health Minister Heather Stefanson said in a news release.
That data will show which vaccine they got and when, the news release says.
"We know many Manitobans have asked for their COVID-19 vaccination information from our public health offices," Stefanson said in the release.
"The new online portal will make this easier for all eligible Manitobans until a more permanent immunization card is available."
A secure immunization card is in development and will be available in Manitoba later this spring, Stefanson said.
In most cases, it will take about 48 hours before proof of vaccination is available online, though in some cases it could take up to a week, the release says.
People who can't use the internet or don't have a health card number can call their public health office to access proof-of-immunization information.
Employers and other parties should not request anyone's proof of vaccination for any reason, Stefanson said.
Proof of vaccination coming too late: opposition
Opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew says it's disappointing that the Progressive Conservative government had not already come up with a way to prove residents were vaccinated — despite administering over 57,700 total doses to date, according to provincial data.
"This seems like it is going to be something that causes a lot problems down the road," Kinew said during a scrum Thursday.
"There's going to be a lot of confusion — mostly for the public, but I'm sure there will be a ton of confusion in the backrooms as well, as people try to co-ordinate, make sense and align all these different pieces of information."
He suggested the province could co-ordinate with existing permanent records of vaccinations in Manitoba, and provide access to the public. He also said legislation should be in place to prevent employers from demanding proof of vaccination.
Kinew also said he's concerned that proof of vaccination could create a society of haves and have-nots.
Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said Thursday's announcement shows the government expects residents to do all the work.
"This is something they should have been organized for before. There are also serious obstacles for lots of people," Lamont said.
"There are a lot of people who do not have email addresses and may not even have phones … to call and get these records."
Lamont also said he's not clear how the provincial government will keep up with demand once it starts administering 20,000 doses per day. The Manitoba government says it's currently slated to reach that capacity in April.