Need help setting up your vaccine passport? N.L. Public Libraries has you covered
Library staff have helped thousands in N.L. set up vaccine passport, says manager
For those without ready access to a smartphone or printer, setting up Newfoundland and Labrador's vaccine passport — dubbed NLVaxPass — may be difficult, but local libraries have stepped up to help.
Library staff are helping patrons set up the NLVaxPass smartphone app, print off vaccination records and fix issues with their MCP cards.
Susan Prior, the St. John's Public Libraries regional manager, said staff have helped more than 10,000 people at 94 locations across the province.
"Our locations have been very, very busy, lots of people coming in. We've actually had to add staff in a couple of locations to meet the demand," she said in an interview with CBC News.
The vaccine passport came into effect Friday, and will be required for many non-essential activities for people age 12 and up, like dining at restaurants, going to a bar or attending sports and entertainment events.
The passport is a QR code that can be accessed through the NLVaxPass app or by printing off a physical copy. The paper record provided at the time of vaccination is also acceptable.
Now that the passport is in place, Prior said, she's expecting even more people to go show up looking for help.
Prior said Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries is assisting with the vaccine passport as part of its community programming.
There are many reasons why someone may need help with the vaccine passport. For someone who isn't familiar with computers or who doesn't speak English, the process can be daunting.
In order to set up a passport at the library, patrons should remember to bring a valid MCP card — although if their MCP card is expired, library staff can help figure out how to renew that, too.
We try to make it as painless as possible — and fun.- Julia Mayo
If you don't have an MCP card, staff can tell you about your alternatives.
Julia Mayo, a technician at the A.C. Hunter Library in St. John's, estimated staff at that location have helped around 1,000 people just in the last week.
"Oh my gosh, people are so grateful and they're so happy to get it done," she said. "We try to make it as painless as possible — and fun."
Prior said patrons have also discovered other useful resources, such as computer and digital literacy programming, while visiting the libraries to get help setting up their passport. Some libraries have collections of video games, musical instruments and more
"There are lots of things that we can do," she said.
Prior said anyone can go there for help — and not to feel nervous.
"Everyone's really happy to help," Prior said. "Everyone should feel comfortable coming in and asking whatever question they have, and we'll do our best to help them."