What can you do with your immunization card? Here’s what Manitobans need to know about proof of vaccination

As Manitoba inches toward its next vaccination target and gradually reopens, some people might wonder how they can enjoy the freedoms that are once again available to people who are fully vaccinated.

As of this week, roughly two-thirds of Manitobans 12 and over have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The province says people who are fully vaccinated — meaning they’ve had their second dose for at least two weeks — are able to enjoy certain privileges, but they must show proof of that status.

That means you have to register to receive a digital and/or physical copy of a COVID-19 vaccination card.

Whether physical or digital, the card has a QR code that can be scanned by anyone with the province’s immunization card app to verify your status.

The cards contain no other personal health information or data, and show only your first and last name and the QR code.

Here are some of the most common questions about Manitoba’s vaccine card:

How do I show proof of vaccination?

Manitobans can register for the vaccine card two weeks after getting their second vaccine dose.

In order to get the digital or physical card, you need to create an account on the province’s website and enter the required information, including your name, birth date, six-digit health card registration number and nine-digit personal health information number.

If you want to have a physical card mailed to the address on your Manitoba health card, be sure to check that box before you submit your request.

A man hold a phone displaying a QR code. The physical COVID-19 vaccine cards in Manitoba will feature a scannable QR code. You can also access your code online, or save a photo of it on a mobile device. (Sylvain Roy Roussel/CBC)

The province says there’s a big demand for physical cards and there are delays in getting them out.

In the interim, you can save a picture of the QR code — which will be created immediately once you’ve completed your request — to your phone. You can also log into the province’s website to access your QR code when you need to show proof.

What can you access with the card?

Fully vaccinated Manitobans with proof of their status can access a range of services, events and relaxed restrictions that otherwise aren’t currently available.

The cards exempt Manitobans who travel to other provinces from the self-isolation requirement requirements upon their return.

You also don’t need to self-isolate if you’re a close contact of a person with COVID-19, as long as you don’t have symptoms.

The province also announced on June 23 that fully vaccinated residents will be able to dine indoors with members of different households and visit loved ones who are also fully vaccinated in personal care homes and hospitals.

They will also be able to attend large-scale outdoor sporting and performing arts events that are approved by Manitoba Public Health, including the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ home opener on Aug. 5.

On July 14, the province announced that Manitobans with two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will also be able to visit museums, galleries or bingo halls, as well as casinos and movie theatres as they reopen.

The card doesn’t allow fully vaccinated Manitobans to do everything, though.

What can’t the card get you?

There has been some confusion in airports over what kind of proof of vaccination Manitobans must provide.

The immunization card isn’t recognized outside of the province. In order to show proof that you’re vaccinated in other parts of the country, you must have a copy of your COVID-19 vaccine records through Shared Health.

Fully vaccinated people in the province must also abide by public health orders, including wearing masks in indoor public places and not gathering in groups larger than currently allowed.

What about children under 12? 

The province says youth age 12 to 17, who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, will need their own immunization cards. 

They can create their own account and request their card, or a parent or caregiver can request it on their behalf.

In that case, the youth will receive the physical card, but the adult who requested the card on the child’s behalf will have the digital card on their account.

Because there are currently no COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada for children under the age of 12, they will be treated as though they have the vaccine status of the parent or caregiver they’re with at the time, the province says.

How is the card different from an immunization record?

The province says a vaccine record, which is different than the COVID-19 immunization card, is a personal medical record used in the health-care system. 

Your vaccine record can be used by health-care providers and used as proof of immunization to visit personal care homes and hospitals.

The COVID-19 immunization card, on the other hand, which shows only your name and the scannable QR code, is used only as proof of immunization for non-medical services, like eating in restaurants or going to a movie theatre.

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