Vaccinated travellers to Nova Scotia looking to skip the province's 14-day quarantine period might have to wait until a national COVID passport tracking system is implemented.
Vaccine passports — or “proof of vaccination,” as the province's top doctor put it — were addressed earlier today in a press conference chaired jointly by Liberal Premier Iain Rankin and chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang.
“We need [a process], one that we can trust, that actually proves that [they've] had one or two doses of vaccine” before visitors to the maritime province can forego the mandatory two week quarantine, said Strang:
“We're looking at that, the timing of that depends on our vaccine coverage here in the province, depends on our epidemiology, one of the critical factors that has to be part of that is... do we have a process in place that allows a validation, a proof of vaccination? We don't have that yet.
“We have a specific solution for rotational workers, but across the country there's still lots of work going on to provide this kind of validation of vaccination. And until we have that in place, it makes it challenging to be able to safely reduce restrictions on... people just because of their vaccination status.
“We need [a process], one that we can trust, that actually proves that [they've] had one or two doses of vaccine.”
...“We're looking at [them]... that's what we started with rotational workers. So we've set the template, it's just for broad, other streams of travellers if you will, then the broad public, we need work to be done to get... those solutions in place for proof of vaccination.”
When asked about how a vaccine passport system could work when no COVID vaccine is currently approved for use in children under 12, Strang said there no final decisions had been made.
“...there's national discussions around that, we're looking at that ourselves — how do you accommodate a family around that, when you have kids who couldn't, themselves, get immunized [because of their] age... we've made no final decisions, but what we're looking at is treating the whole family as a unit.
“As we get to that point, where we're actually going to open for that, we'll have much more clarity on that.”
Last week, Strang admitted that COVID-19 vaccines are “not 100 per cent effective,” and that even after receiving two doses, “some people may die.”