The Canadian Armed Forces have confirmed to Rebel News that COVID-19 vaccines will be required for all members, with undetermined “accommodation or alternative measures” reserved for members who are “unable to be vaccinated”.
Rebel News reached out to the CAF on Friday after publishing an email that had allegedly been sent to service members.
Here's the response we received from the Department of National Defence:
Q1&2. Is the email authentic? To whom was it sent?
In response to your first two questions, we cannot confirm at this time the authenticity of the text cited. However, we can confirm that we have released internal communications and published on the CAF/DND website information about proof of vaccination for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members.
Q3. Will vaccinations for service members be mandatory?
In light of the announcement made August 13 by the Government of Canada, COVID-19 vaccination will be required for CAF members. For those few who are unable to be vaccinated, accommodation or alternative measures may be determined in each situation, to protect broader public health by reducing the risk of COVID-19. As further details unfold, they will be communicated.
CAF members continue to show their dedication in the fight against COVID-19. The uptake rate of the COVID-19 vaccine that was, until the recent announcement, voluntary, has been very high amongst CAF members, with approximately 90% of those eligible having received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of August 2021. This high uptake rate, coupled with continued public health measures like distancing, activity restrictions, hand washing and masking, has helped ensure CAF members are helping to keep infection rates down.
CAF members who receive a COVID-19 vaccination at a CAF vaccination clinic are provided with proof of vaccination either directly in their member vaccine booklet, or a card or record sheet, which includes the type of any vaccine administered, the date it was provided and other pertinent details. Members can show these documents if asked to prove their vaccination status.
The CAF is working closely with federal, provincial and territorial partners in the development of a national proof of vaccination document standard in order to ensure that CAF members have a document that will be accepted across the country regardless of the jurisdiction. In the meantime, public health officials in all Canadian jurisdictions are aware of the appearance of the CAF vaccination document (i.e., vaccine booklet or other clinic-issued document) and to accept it as proof of vaccination for CAF members. The proof of vaccination document will meet a standard agreed to by federal, provincial and territorial partners. This is important to ensure compatibility with other jurisdictions. It will contain a standard set of data about the individual and their vaccination status, such as the vaccine brand and date administered, and the person’s name and date of birth so it can be confirmed as corresponding to that individual.
Regarding protecting CAF members’ privacy, the national vaccination document standard will meet privacy requirements in every Canadian jurisdiction. Members will have full control over their personal information and can decline to be issued the proof of vaccination document. No CAF member is obliged to accept or use the document. Members may also decline to present the document to others, understanding that this could limit their activities. The document will contain only the minimum information needed to establish their vaccination status for public health purposes, such as the vaccine product and date administered, and the member’s name to ensure it is specific to them. It will not contain any personal or medical information not relevant to confirming their vaccination status, such as past medical history, medications or current conditions.
Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said last week that the government will work with unions and “bargaining agents” to iron out the details of the Liberal's mandatory federal vaccination plan.