Ontario’s science table recommends using COVID-19 vaccine certificates

The province’s COVID-19 science advisory table has come out in support of vaccine certificates.

In a report issued last week, the science table said it could be used on a short-term basis to help reopen higher risk settings sooner or at an increased capacity. It could also serve as a verifiable record of immunization long term, the report added.

“Vaccine certificates can be used to regulate entry into discretionary settings that pose a high risk for SARS-CoV-2 transmission (e.g., indoor dining, bars, gyms, cultural and sports events),” said the 21-page report posted on the advisory table’s website. “Vaccine certificates can also be used in non-discretionary settings (e.g., schools, universities, congregate settings, and workplaces), especially in settings that require mandatory vaccination,” it read.   

“On a short-term basis, vaccine certificates could enable the re-opening of high-risk settings sooner and/or at increased capacity. Vaccine certificates will be of particular importance to maintain economic and societal reopening if public health measures need to be reintroduced.  Some jurisdictions are also implementing vaccine certificates with the goal of incentivizing COVID-19 vaccination.

“On a longer-term basis, vaccine certificates can serve as a verifiable, secure, standardized, accessible and portable records of immunization,” it stated in its key findings

According to the report, many jurisdictions are developing and implementing COVID-19 vaccine certificates as falsification-proof, verifiable proof of immunization in secure digital or paper-based formats.  However, there is currently no scientific evidence of the direct impact of COVID-19 vaccine certificates on SARS-CoV-2 transmission or population vaccination rates, and there are important ethical, legal, accessibility, and privacy considerations concerning their development and implementation.




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