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Why won’t your NWT-issued vaccine credential scan?

A detail from an NWT government proof-of-vaccination credential
A detail from an NWT government proof-of-vaccination credential.

The NWT’s new proof of vaccination document, designed to meet federal standards, isn’t always producing the desired result with vaccine verification apps across Canada.

Though the territorial government said the downloadable credential had been developed in collaboration with southern provinces and Ottawa, the QR code embedded in the document doesn’t always work.

For example, residents have reported problems convincing the Alberta government’s new vaccine verification app to accept their NWT QR code.

On Thursday, the NWT’s health authority told Cabin Radio the problem is the apps themselves. Not all apps are so far built to recognize QR codes from other jurisdictions, the health authority said.



“Different scanner apps may or may not validate your credential as apps built by different organizations or provinces and territories may be validating their own codes only, or there may be other issues,” wrote Sean Feretycki, a spokesperson for the health authority.

“Because this is new technology, we expect there will be early adoption issues, but these will be improved over time by the various developers of the apps.

“From our understanding, this is an issue that presents in many jurisdictions as the scanner apps developed by the province are built to scan their own codes. Interoperability of codes and scanning is something being discussed at joint inter-jurisdictional meetings that are working to refine this system over time.”

Feretycki noted that the Alberta government currently states its AB Covid Records Verifier app only works with Alberta data.



“At this time, the verifier app can only scan QR codes from Alberta Covid Records,” the Alberta government’s website states. “For out-of-province records, manually verify the printed information on their record and ensure name and birthdate matches their ID.”

Having NWT QR codes accepted in Alberta is considered key as many residents leaving the territory travel either to or through the province.

“Most of the provincial verifier app FAQs speak to issues scanning other jurisdictions’ QR codes,” said Feretycki, adding the NWT’s credential has been accepted by the Canadian Border Services Agency.

The GNWT’s website now includes an FAQ section for the credential where more answers might be found if you’re having trouble acquiring or using your document.