Like the soft launch of any one of a hundred different apps, the digital vaccine verification code started appearing on Google Play and the App Store on Friday morning. Yes Virginia, you can now carry your vaccine certification on your phone with a Government of Ontario-approved QR code, and just a few days ahead of the one-month anniversary of the Province’s vaccine certification program.
“The enhanced vaccine certificates and Verify Ontario app will give our businesses further comfort in their ability to operate safely as we take further steps to protect people’s privacy,” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement where he also thanked Ontarians for their patience and co-operation. “These certificates remain a key element of our plan to protect the gains we have made while avoiding future lockdowns.”
But wait, don’t grab your phone just yet because this is a staggered rollout. All individuals born between January and April will be able to download their certification today, Friday, while everyone born between May and August will be able to download all day Saturday and people born between September to December will be able to download on Sunday.
As of Monday October 18 at 6 am, anyone and everyone that has had their vaccine shots will be able to access the Verify Ontario app regardless of their birthday month.
“The Verify Ontario app will support Ontario businesses, protect our hard-fought progress by making it quicker and easier to confirm if a person is fully vaccinated, while protecting their privacy,” said Kaleed Rasheed, the associate minister of Digital Government. “I encourage all Ontarians to get an official enhanced vaccine certificate with an official QR code, and businesses to download and use our Verify Ontario app.”
The Verify Ontario app will also be able to scan QR codes from Quebec, British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. Businesses will be required to accept both this electronic version of the vaccine certificate as well as the old fashioned paper receipt. Whatever way you show your COVID-19 vaccine certificate, you will still be required to show some form of I.D. like your driver’s license or health card along with it. You can also have an enhanced vaccine certificate emailed or mailed to you by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.
The deadline to mitigate to the electronic version of the vaccine certificate program is next Friday, the one-month anniversary of when the Ontario government mandated proof of vaccination at select venues and events. As of Friday, 82.8 per cent of Ontarians born on or before 2009 have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine while 87.3 per cent have had at least one shot.