Quebec will implement a so-called COVID-19 “vaccine passport” system in order to keep the pandemic under control and prevent another lockdown this fall, the province’s health minister announced Thursday.
“We have to prepare for autumn,” Christian Dubé told reporters in Montreal.
The passport will only be used if the epidemiological situation warrants it, he added. The goal is to stave off a spike in novel coronavirus cases and keep another wave of restrictions off the table when schools reopen and the cold weather sets in.
Dubé stressed that vaccination has provided an alternative to imposing restrictions to keep the virus at bay. It also alleviates pressure on the hospital network.
“We have found an alternative to generalized confinement,” he said.
Not getting vaccinated is a choice, he added, but that could mean not getting access to certain non-essential services if outbreaks occur after Sept. 1. The passport will only come into effect on that date, when everyone has had a chance to get both shots of the vaccine.
Doses are also widely available and the province is in a good position to boost its vaccination coverage this summer, according to Dubé.
“I am inviting Quebecers to get their second dose now,” he said.
—With files from The Canadian Press
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