The Quebec government has just unveiled details regarding how the previously announced vaccine passport system will be implemented starting September 1. Christian Dubé, the province’s health minister, announced at a press conference that the vaccine passport system will be used in the fight to cease rising COVID-19 cases, as well as counter the threat of a possible fourth wave of the virus. He added that a vaccine passport will be beneficial towards keeping the province’s economy open, as well as prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed.
According to a report by CBC News, Mr. Dubé outlined that the vaccine passport will be used in places that have high capacity rates, and a high rate of contact, such as festivals, bars, restaurants, gyms and training facilities. The purpose for that action is to avoid the widespread closures that dominated the first waves of COVID-19 in Quebec. Plus until it is announced by the government, the vaccination passport will not be used in retail stores.
The passport will be in the form as a part of a smartphone app. For those who do not have smartphones, they can use a paper version of the passport, which they can obtain at vaccine centres.
“Taking into account the increase in cases, the fall coming up with the back to school and back to work and the expected prevalence of the delta variant, the conditions are there to deploy the vaccination passport,” stated Mr. Dubé.
Although many in the medical community have praised the vaccine passport system as a means to help increase the vaccination rate in Quebec, it does have its share of critics.
“One thing that bothers us right now is that the vaccine passport is being presented as if it were some kind of miracle solution,” coordinator of the la Ligue des droits et libertés (LDL) Catherine Descoteaux told CBC News. She added that she wants to avoid “creating a false sense of security in the population” when herd immunity has not yet been achieved in Quebec.
Right now, the system is about to undergo a testing phase via two pilot projects — one at a sports bar and one at a gym — in order to test out the use of QR codes.