Support for vaccine passports as B.C. immunizations climb
VICTORIA -- Everyone who is vaccinated in B.C. receives a card verifying their immunization status. The question is, will this card be your “vaccine passport,” allowing you to participate in activities like indoor dining and attending live events?
Countries such as Japan, Isreal and Denmark are already using vaccine passports as a way of getting life and the economy back to normal.
“It’s certainly a very exciting idea and I very much like the idea of it,” said Solomon Siegel, owner of Pagliacci’s in downtown Victoria.
Siegel says he obviously wants business to return to normal, but cautions that if we were to adopt this practice in Canada, we only have one shot to do it right.
“The idea is that people that are fully vaccinated are far less likely to be spreading COVID, but there’s still more data to come in,” said Siegel. “We need to make sure we follow hard science.”
“I don’t think it’s necessary,” said Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the British Columbia Restaurant and Food Services Association.
Tostenson has a good argument against the idea. He thinks the population won’t be fully vaccinated until September at the earliest. By then, we could already be into herd immunity.
“Plus the fact that we’re (in the) hospitality (industry),” said Tostenson. “We don’t want to leave people behind.”
“There’s people that can’t honestly get a vaccination,” he added. “We don’t want to isolate them.”
The province is looking into the idea of requiring documentation for people coming into B.C. on international flights, but currently is not looking into following the lead of other countries when it comes to day-to-day activities.
“For other activities like going to a sporting event or to a theatre, (a vaccine passport) strikes us as counter productive at this point,” said Premier John Horgan on March 12.
“I mean, good for them for giving it a try and we’ll keep an eye on that,” said Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “Maybe it’s a model we can use, but I think it has to prove that it works before we look at doing anything similar.”
People CTV News talked to Wednesday seem to agree the idea vaccine passports should be adopted here in Canada.
“If it feels like it would be helpful for the general population and for businesses to get going in a safe manner, then yes, it makes sense to me,” said Jo-Ann Howell.
“Yes, once we hit a place that we’re more stable within the province, I think that would be a great idea to be able to do,” said Catriona Convey.