Ontario science table says vaccine certificates may allow faster reopening

Ontario’s science advisors say a proof-of-vaccination system would allow for a faster reopening in settings that pose a high risk for COVID-19 transmission.

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says vaccine certificates could be used to regulate entry to high-risk settings like indoor dining, bars, gyms, cultural and sporting events and, therefore, allow for greater capacity.

The group says vaccine certificates can also be used in non-discretionary settings like schools and workplaces that require mandatory vaccination.

The group warns that important ethical, legal, accessibility, and privacy considerations with varying impacts on different populations need to be considered before a certificate system is implemented.

A recent science table brief says governments and health authorities have a role in ensuring that necessary regulations are in place to ensure that vaccine certificates are created and used in a way that safeguards human rights, enables individual accommodations when warranted, and protects against misuse.

It says vaccine certificates would also set up infrastructure to guide the reintroduction of public health measures if cases spike in the future.

Premier Doug Ford previously said he would not introduce a proof-of-vaccination system.

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table is a group of scientific experts and health system leaders who evaluate and report on emerging evidence relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, to inform Ontario’s response.