While your Covid-19 immunization card is not an official vaccination record, people vaccinated in the NWT can request proof of their vaccination by filling out a form online.
When you get vaccinated in the NWT, your information is entered into the health department’s electronic medical record system as part of your permanent health record.
“The immunization card is not considered an official record to be used as proof for travel or other purposes,” the territorial government wrote on Facebook of the business card-sized immunization cards handed out following vaccination.
To access your permanent record, you need to fill out a form requesting access to your Covid-19 immunization record. In March, you needed to fill out a form and submit it to your local community health centre. Now, you are able to fill out the form on your phone, tablet, or computer, and submit it online.
Christina Carter, the territory’s acting director of public health and primary care, said once your application is submitted, you will receive a notice that states it may take up to 30 days to process the request for vaccination records – but the process is usually much quicker.
“It’s a general turnaround time right now of about three to seven business days. And it’s dependent on the community,” Carter said. “Even within those guidelines, there are several cases of faster turnaround times, but that would be very community and individual specific.
“If somebody had to travel out of territory for an urgent … family or medical event and they required the records urgently at the last minute, we can process that as well. But we are encouraging people to submit online, wait the seven days, and then present to pick them up.”
In the NWT, once you submit your application and wait seven days, you can pick up your record at your local health centres or public health office. If you live in Yellowknife, you can pick up your record at the Yellowknife Primary Care Centre on the main floor.
“There’s no need to wait for a phone call to indicate that your records are ready,” Carter said. “Seven days after submitting online, your records will be available for you. You can just walk in and pick them up.”
For individuals outside the territory, the process may be lengthier.
“We must speak to them on the phone, we have to give them passwords in order to properly transfer their documents via secure file transfer, just to make sure that we’re upholding their privacy,” said Carter.
If you’re outside the territory or unable to pick up your records due to isolation or physical inability, you can receive them via secure file transfer. In these cases, individuals will receive a phone call.
At the moment, NWT residents do not need to have their immunization records in order to re-enter the NWT after travel. For other parts of Canada and the world, refer to those jurisdictions’ Covid-19 travel rules.
This report, first written by Sarah Pruys in March 2021, has been updated to reflect amendments to the territory’s process as of July 2021.