Ontario Extending Vaccine Passports, Offering Boosters For 18+ In January

Friday December 10th, 2021

Posted at 2:25pm

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The Ontario government is introducing several measures to strengthen the province’s proof of vaccination requirements and enhance public health measures.

New Proof of Vaccination Requirements

They government says they will not be lifting proof of vaccination requirements on January 17th as previously announced, due to concerning trends.

In addition, effective January 4th, 2022, Ontario will begin requiring the use of the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code and the Verify Ontario app in settings where proof of vaccination is required.

The QR code can be used digitally or by printing a paper copy.

Deputy Premier Christine Elliott says businesses must accept both digital and printed QR codes.

Starting on December 20th, 2021, Ontario will also begin requiring proof of vaccination for youth aged 12 to 17 years of age participating in organized sports at recreational facilities.

Vaccine Passports for Clinical Trial Participants and Those Exempt

Starting on December 15th, 2021, Ontario will begin a new process to provide an enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificate with QR code for individuals who have an eligible medical exemption or are participating in an active, Health Canada Approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.

To obtain an enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code, the province says individuals who have an eligible medical exemption must ask an Ontario physician or registered nurse in the extended class to submit their exemption directly to the public health unit where the issuer’s practice is located.

The vaccine trial Principal Investigator for a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial can submit an exemption, with the written or verbal consent of the trial participant, directly to the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre.

Once an individual’s exemption is reviewed and entered into COVaxON by the public health unit, they will be able to access their enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code through the COVID-19 vaccination portal.

Medical exemptions issued outside of Ontario are not eligible for an enhanced vaccine certificate. The government says this new process will help combat fraud, offer greater protection of personal health information, and ease burden on businesses.

Organizations and businesses that are required to take part in Ontario’s proof-of-vaccination system will be advised to longer accept physician notes beginning January 10th, 2022.

Boosters For 18+

Starting on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 at 8:00am, the province is making booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines available for those aged 18 and over. They say appointments will be booked for approximately six months (168 days) after a second dose.

Holiday Gatherings

The government says Ontarians, in particular unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals, are strongly advised to limit their social gatherings and the number of gatherings they attend, especially over the holiday season.

“I know with the holidays approaching, people may be concerned what this means about getting together with family and friends,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Please keep your social contacts to a minimum. Your gatherings should be small, and you should limit the number of gatherings you attend.”

Moore says those attending gatherings should wear face coverings and physically distance if individuals in attendance are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or their vaccination status is unknown.

Moore is also asking employers to allow their employees to work from home whenever possible.

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