Vaccination Passport

March 16, 2021

Honourable senators, there has been increased discussion about having a COVID vaccination passport. As someone who has spent decades working in sub-Saharan Africa, I am very familiar with the essential public health value of the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. Mine includes yellow fever, polio, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Cholera, hepatitis A and B and Japanese encephalitis.

Entry to some countries is not possible without such documentation. Senator Gold, is Canada considering something similar when it comes to COVID vaccination? If so, what is being considered?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Thank you for the question. The government is aware, and senators must be as well, that some provinces and territories are already exploring options for certifying a person once they are vaccinated.

With regard to the issue at the central level, the Prime Minister recently commented that while the issue is being discussed and considered — as it is in other countries— a vaccination passport or certificate raises questions of fairness, privacy and discrimination. These are things that need to be factored in.

It has also been suggested often that a passport would be useful from a public health perspective to deal with international travel. In that regard, the government continues to recommend to Canadians that they not engage in non-essential travel.

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