The Northwest Territories will begin providing standardized records of vaccination against Covid-19 by the end of October, health officials say.
At the moment, residents are only able to request a copy of their immunization record online, which the NWT government then prints and stamps.
“We certainly received some feedback, or criticism, about how plain it is,” Scott Robertson, the health authority’s Covid-19 co-lead, told CBC North’s Trailbreaker on Thursday morning.
“The reality is, until very recently, there was no agreed-upon national standard about what a proof of immunization should look like.”
Robertson said a standardized design for vaccination records has only been agreed between provinces and territories in the past few weeks.
The federal government has said proof-of-vaccination records will be “easily recognized and trusted” and will “provide border officials in other countries with your Covid-19 vaccination history.”
Robertson said the basic process of acquiring that record – filling out a form – will remain unchanged.
“Unfortunately, we do not have a method for this to be entirely self-serve online. Our current electronic health record system does not support that functionality, and we can’t build it in a short time,” he said.
In many provinces, proof of vaccination is now required for activities like eating at a restaurant or attending a sporting event.
Asked why similar requirements are not currently being pursued by the territorial government, health officials said that question was best directed to Premier Caroline Cochrane.
Vaccine passports are “not under my mandate,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kami Kandola told the CBC.