P.E.I. health card no longer needed to get COVID-19 vaccine, says province

Holding a Prince Edward Island health card is no longer a must for people on the Island who want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Government had said cottagers and other off-Island residents couldn't get doses here

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first to arrive on Prince Edward Island, in December 2020. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Holding a Prince Edward Island health card is no longer a must for people on the Island who want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Policy on the need for a Health PEI card has been evolving since vaccines first became available on the Island. 

As late as February 21, officials were telling CBC News that a P.E.I. health card was required to get vaccinated in the province, and off-Island people who owned property here didn't qualify. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said in January that the province's share of the federal vaccine supply was "based on our year-round residents population."

But late Tuesday, provincial officials sent CBC an email clarifying the current situation. 

"Those who do not have health cards from P.E.I. will be immunized if they are living/working here with the population group they are sequenced with," the email said. "For instance, if someone is over 75 and living here (without a P.E.I. health card), they could call to be vaccinated now."

The province had previously said that young people on P.E.I. to study who did not hold a P.E.I. health card could receive a vaccine if they worked at retail or service jobs where they had contact with the public. 

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As for seasonal residents, the email from the province said on Tuesday: "We are encouraging everyone to get at least their first dose in the province in which they currently reside before traveling to P.E.I. However, they can get vaccinated here if they have not previously received their vaccines."

Health Canada has now approved four different COVID-19 vaccines for use in this country, and Prince Edward Island has been receiving regular shipments of at least three of them. 

Vials with the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine don't have to be stored at extreme low temperatures, and have been available at six P.E.I. pharmacies to inoculate specific groups of young people. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images)

Supplies are currently running low on the Astro-Zeneca-Oxford vaccine that so far has been reserved for young people on the Island.

"As of right now, vaccine is available at pharmacies in Summerside, O'Leary and Kensington," the P.E.I. Pharmacists Association said in a tweet replying to a CBC P.E.I. post. 

The tweet said more supplies are expected in a week or two to resupply sites in Charlottetown and Montague.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Brian Higgins


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