If you were thinking of using your Quebec QR code abroad or in other provinces, think again. You need to download another proof of vaccination from the government's self-service portal, which comes in a PDF format directly to your cell phone or by mail.
The government specified that this proof will be used to use your vaccination passport in all Canadian provinces, as well as in several American states and countries around the world. However, you are invited to inform yourself about the vaccination requirements of each place before travelling, as they change very quickly.
The current QR code cab only be used in Quebec, while this new proof of vaccination will be your ally for your future trips.
The government recommends that you download this proof of vaccination the day before you travel outside Quebec.
Remember that the land border with the United States will reopen on November 8.
Do you need a third dose? Do you need a whole new vaccine passport? Our colleagues at Narcity Québec contacted the Ministry of Health to clear this all up for you.
Mon coll\u00e8gue Christian Dub\u00e9 a annonc\u00e9 aujourd'hui de nouvelles consignes pour la vaccination au Qu\u00e9bec. Une dose de rappel sera offerte aux personnes de 70 ans et plus ainsi qu'aux personnes ayant re\u00e7u deux doses d'AstraZeneca/Covishield. \n\nPour tous les d\u00e9tailspic.twitter.com/D2slMYXgfi
You might've heard that Health Minister Christian Dubé recently announced that the province is recommending a third dose or booster shot for people aged 80 and older and people who have received two doses of Astra-Zeneca/COVIDShield or Johnson & Johnson.
People aged 70-79 can also opt to get a third dose.
"Since this protection [offered by a vaccine] tends to decrease slightly among people aged 80 and over, we want to ensure that we better protect these people, as well as those who had opted for two doses of viral vector vaccine, which have a slightly lower efficacy," Health Minister Christian Dubé said in the statement.
The health ministry made no suggestion that people under 70 who already have two doses of an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna will need to get a third dose as of yet.
In a statement shared with Narcity Québec, the ministry assured that people who get a third dose will not need to download a new proof of vaccination.
The government considers you adequately vaccinated if you've had two vaccine doses.
So rest easy, folks — if you're under 70 and already fully vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine, you're good to go.
You might've panicked the last time you went out and saw that your Quebec vaccine passport isn't up to date on VaxiCode — but don't worry! The good news is, you absolutely didn't miss another vaccine dose or else we already would've told you about it, dudes.
But why does it look like your VaxiCode app isn't up to date, and how do you fix that?
La preuve vaccinale d\u00e9j\u00e0 t\u00e9l\u00e9charg\u00e9e dans l\u2019application VaxiCode est tout \u00e0 fait valide. Il n\u2019y a pas de changement de ce c\u00f4t\u00e9. Le message qui apparait ne concerne que les personnes qui souhaitent utiliser leur preuve vaccinale pour voyager.
Nestled in an unsettling yellow box, the message reads, "The current version of your proof of vaccination is no longer up to date."
On November 8, the Ministry of Health and Social Services provided an explanation for this update.
Taking to Twitter, Santé Québec explained that "the proof of vaccination already downloaded in the VaxiCode app is completely valid. There is no change on this side."
And perhaps most reassuringly, "The message that appears only concerns people who wish to use their proof of vaccination to travel."
Quebec is providing a federally standardized version of the QR code that can be used when proof of vaccination is required for domestic and international travel. Quebecers can access this QR code through the provincial government website and upload it to VaxiCode.
So rejoice! You'll only need to "update" your QR code if you're planning on using it to access a mode of transport that will require proof of vaccination, such as a domestic or international flight or VIA Rail. If you aren't travelling anytime soon, don't worry.
Keep in mind that the vaccine passport rules are still in force throughout Quebec if you want to eat inside a restaurant or go to an event.
In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.
"Beggars can't be choosers" seems to be the government's approach to mandatory vaccinations for health care workers. Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé announced Wednesday that the province will let unvaccinated health sector employees continue to work after November 15 — the date by which workers were supposed to be adequately vaccinated or face suspension.
That was already an extension. The original deadline for health and social service workers to get their COVID-19 vaccine was October 15.
97% des 290K TdS sur le terrain sont vaccin\u00e9s.\n\nSe priver de 8K personnes dans notre r\u00e9seau d\u00e9j\u00e0 fragilis\u00e9 aurait eu des cons\u00e9quences d\u00e9vastatrices, selon les sc\u00e9narios potentiels des PDG. La sant\u00e9 publique a donc m\u00e0j sa recommandation sur la vaccination obligatoire des TdS.pic.twitter.com/bPSZs30mXh
— Christian Dub\u00e9 (@Christian Dub\u00e9)
In a press release, the ministry said the decision followed an evaluation that found "the maintenance of essential services" could "not be ensured" in the case of the "withdrawal of unvaccinated workers."
As of November 3, according to the release, 14,000 workers aren't fully vaccinated, according to the release.
Instead, the government is enforcing three-times-weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated workers and will carry out reassignments — "when possible" — of these employees to "areas with less vulnerable clientele."
In addition, the Ministry of Health says "no worker presenting symptoms should come to the care environment."
Unvaccinated health workers will also not be eligible for previously announced pandemic and retention bonuses.
Anyone 12 or older has to show proof of vaccination when travelling within Canada as of October 30, so you'll want to have the national vaccine passport handy if you plan on leaving Quebec. While Canada's vaccine passport does not guarantee entry into another country, it can help streamline the process of travelling internationally.
Unlike, Quebec's vaccine passport, the Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination has official logos for both the province and the Government of Canada with a little Canadian flag appearing above the letter "a" in Canada. It's also a bilingual document, with information in both French and English.
It says "COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination" at the top of the document.
The overall look is consistent across the country but the logo changes based on your province or territory.
In terms of your personal details, here's what you can expect it to show:
Your full name and date of birth
Your COVID-19 vaccination history, including:
the number of dose(s)
the vaccine type(s), product name(s) and lot number
the date(s) you got your vaccination(s)
a SMART Health Cards QR code
The QR code contains your vaccination history. It may also include additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine or vaccines you got.
"The only medical information shown is your COVID-19 vaccination history. It doesn't contain your health card number, so it can't be used to access other health information or be used for other health services," according to the government website.