At a press conference on Thursday, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé revealed that the province will be offering electronic proof of vaccination to Quebecers who have already received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine starting on Thursday, May 13.
Dubé described this proof as "a QR code that will be provided by email to Quebecers." Here's what you need to know.
What's this vaccination proof all about?
This emailed proof of vaccination will be similar to the paper copy you'll receive after you get your first dose, said Dubé.
In a nutshell, it's an additional layer of vaccine proof that you can always have access to if you lose the paper they give you at the clinic.
"The piece of paper that you receive when you get vaccinated is just proof that you have been vaccinated," the health minister explained.
"We will send an email and that person will be asked: Would you like to receive a QR code? And then, that person will confirm by email and we'll send it to them."
Dubé explained that the QR code will contain information on the vaccine an individual received, as well as the dates they got their dose.
Quebecers will have an option to get an updated code once they get their second dose.
Is this like a vaccine passport?
Dubé was adamant that this isn't a vaccine passport.
"Right now, the piece of paper that you receive when you get vaccinated is just a proof that you have been vaccinated. It's not a passport. [...] So, that's the same thing. We just go from paper to digital. That's the first step."
Will there eventually be a vaccination passport?
That much is unclear. But Dubé said the ministry has "asked public health to do intensive work on it."
He suggested officials would get back to the public to share possible uses of the proof of vaccination.
National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda added that there are ethical questions about possible vaccine passports to sort out first.
"What we want to do here is a good analysis, given the ethical and other issues. I think there may be a use for it. [...] We're not saying no, we're saying we're looking at it."