Some Manitobans having trouble proving they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19 due to data errors

Some Manitobans say they’re having trouble getting their vaccine records to show they’ve had both their shots, and are worried they won’t be able to enjoy the rewards as a result. 

But health officials say they’re working to get the issue resolved soon. 

Lorraine Adam, who is in her 70s, says she got her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the end of March, and then got her second dose on June 3. 

Once the required two weeks had passed, she went online to order her immunization card but the system told her she was ineligible. When she called Shared Health to inquire, she was told there was no record of her first dose. 

She says what followed was a series of calls to different health agencies, with none of them able to provide answers. 

“I really had a great challenge getting to talk to anybody. I mean, it was just, it was sort of like a black hole everywhere,” she said. 

She said she thinks there must have a data entry error that meant her first shot wasn’t recorded. 

“There’s not a lag when it’s like practically three months. It’s a lag if it’s a week or two or a bit more. But that’s more than a lag,” she said. 

Now, she said she’s worried she won’t be able to take advantage of the benefits of being fully vaccinated, like travelling to Ontario to see her daughter and grandkids. 

Rachel Cooper says she tried to apply for her vaccination card Wednesday after getting her second dose on June 9 at a walk-in clinic. She said she got her first dose at a Winnipeg supersite at the start of May. 

When her application was denied, she checked her immunization record online, only to see there was no record of her second shot. 

She called her MLA’s office about the issue, and was told they would look into it. But for now, she’s said she’s just waiting to see if the issue can be resolved. 

Like Adam, she said she’s worried about how this will impact her ability to travel and do other things only afforded to those fully vaccinated. 

The whole situation is very frustrating, she said. 

“I mean, the government is telling us to go and do our part, which I did very promptly as soon as I was eligible. I got both of my vaccines and now I’m just waiting for them to do their part,” she said. 

Province looking into it: vaccine task force 

The head of Manitoba’s vaccine task force, Johanu Botha, said he was aware some people are having trouble getting their vaccination cards, mostly due to getting their first doses in other provinces or rural areas, but wouldn’t call it a widespread problem. 

Almost all vaccination records, about 97 per cent, are processed with no issue, he said. 

“They’re sort of anomalies like that that we have to work through to brainstorm why they’re not aligned in the system. By all accounts, everyone’s data is in the system. It’s a matter of cleaning it up,” he said. 

Botha said this doesn’t minimize the frustrations of the three per cent of people who are experiencing complications, and officials are working to resolve these issues as soon as possible. 

“Remember, this is a brand new process that they’re doing here for over a million people, so it’s monumental,” he said. 

“And I know that people want to get their lives back and they want those cards back. So I’ve been following up to make sure we’re doing everything we can to get that to happen as fast and efficiently as possible.”

He said the vaccine team is hiring more staff to fix the issues

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