REGINA — Beginning today, Saskatchewan residents are now able to access their COVID-19 vaccine record in the form of a scannable QR code, although the partnering mobile app is still on the way.
Premier Scott Moe promised the new vaccine record verification technology would be made available this week, to allow residents and businesses enough time to familiarize themselves before the province’s proof of vaccination policy comes into effect on Oct. 1.
Residents will need to have an active MySaskHealthRecord account to access the new verification record, said public health, much like the previous vaccine certificate.
The new one-page record, which includes the QR code, can be downloaded on mobile devices or saved and printed as a physical copy. health is also promising a SK Vax Wallet app will be made available by the end of the month, where residents can store their vaccine record on a mobile device.
“The new format with QR code notes the individual's name, type of vaccine administered, date, country of issuance and lot number,” said a statement from public health.
Businesses and public venues that will have to seek proof of vaccination beginning in October will soon have access to the SK Vax Verifier app, to scan the new QR codes.
Individuals who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least 14 days prior will flash green when scanned. Those who don’t meet this criteria will flash red.
"This is the next, improved, version of Saskatchewan's COVID-19 vaccination record," said Health Minister Paul Merriman.
The app is being developed according to provincial standards regarding full vaccination, and will also be able to read vaccine passports from other provincial jurisdictions following SmartHealth guidelines.
Concerns about the safety of personal health data were expressed after the idea was announced, but public health says that the verification app from the province will not retain any information when scanning vaccine codes.
As alternate options within the province, residents can also use the wallet cards given at the time of vaccination or the previous version of the vaccine certificate from eHealth as proof, to satisfy recently announced public health measures.
For those travelling internationally or across the U.S. border, the new QR code was designed to meet the federal requirements for vaccine passports currently in development.
Merriman said that the provincial government has heard calls for the implementation of a vaccine passport in Sask., and the new QR code and app will support both provincial and federal requirements.
"It has been something that travelers, businesses and organizations have been asking for,” said Merriman.
“With the announcement last week of stronger measures being introduced to help curb the transmission of COVID-19, I encourage anyone eligible for vaccination in Saskatchewan to get their vaccines, and to get their COVID-19 vaccine certificate from MySaskHealthRecord."