The Yukon now has a quick process to obtain vaccination proof for travel.
Residents who have had at least one vaccine shot in the territory can now access their records online at yukon.ca/vaccine-proof. A proof of vaccination can be downloaded as a PDF document and kept as a digital copy or printed off.
Paper copies can also be requested by phone through the COVID-19 InfoLine at 1-877-374-0425 and mailed to residents, but could take up to two weeks to arrive.
While the paper cards already distributed are acceptable proof in many situations, the new verification system is highly secure and contains an authentication QR code to prevent forgery.
“The Yukon credential is designed to be integrated into Canada’s national system,” said Silver. “We’re very pleased to provide Yukoners with a safe and secure way to access their COVID-19 vaccination credential online.”
The vaccination system is expected to be tweaked as national and international standards are developed. For that reason, Silver said Yukoners should only access the documents when required in order to keep them current.
Silver said vaccine verification systems will not be required for any government services, and the territory is not currently considering any mandates. But he said the vaccination system will support private businesses that require vaccination.
“It’s up to the individual to decide if they wish to share their proof of COVID-19 vaccination credentials,” he said.
Right now Yukon University is requesting vaccine information and the Yukon Hospital Corporation is requiring visitors to be double vaccinated. Patients seeking care do not need to be vaccinated.
The system to access data is highly secure, said electronic services director Mark Burns, during a technical briefing. The database does not connect to health records directly but does contain the following data: full name, date of birth, unique identifier number, vaccine product name (e.g. Pfizer or Moderna), date of vaccine administration, vaccine lot number, territory/province vaccine was delivered in and the date the vaccine credential was issued.
Burns said the development of the system took around three months and cost the government $30,000. The contract went to a Whitehorse company.
Gamma wave now under control
The Yukon’s acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott said the wave of Gamma variant cases that led to the Yukon’s rapid outbreak situation has now subsided. Both the outbreak in Ross River and the outbreak at the Whitehorse shelter are under control.
On Aug. 30 a positive case was identified in a resident at Copper Ridge long-term care home, followed by a second case in a staff member. The original case was traced back to the Whitehorse hospital.
“These are the first two cases in long-term care that we’ve had in the entire pandemic. They occurred on a single unit within this home and there’s not been further spread. As is routine we will continue to closely monitor the situation and the absence of new cases, despite widespread testing and screening gives me confidence that this has been contained,” said Elliott.
Vaccination for all eligible Yukoners is now up to 83 per cent, with young adults lagging behind the rest of the population.
The Yukon government is still waiting for official guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization before issuing booster shots. Third doses will potentially be provided to immunocompromised people and long-term care residents.
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