Dr. Paul advocates for vaccine passports

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By Nick Seebruch
Dr. Paul advocates for vaccine passports
Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health with the EOHU.

CORNWALL, Ontario – In an interview with CTV Ottawa News on Thursday, Aug. 26 Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) advocated for the implementation of vaccine passports and said that if the province will not introduce such a requirement, that local health units were prepared to do it themselves.

Vaccine passports are a document which proves that an individual is fully vaccinated from the COVID-19 virus.

Everyone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine does get a receipt proving they have been vaccinated but Dr. Roumeliotis said that this system was hardly ideal.

“The receipt you have right now is hard to read. It is easily forgeable and you can lose it and so on. We need something digital. Something confidential, and an alternative card. Manitoba has that as well. Quebec and BC all have that,” he said.

Dr. Roumeliotis is the President of the Association of Local Public Health Agencies and said that many of his colleagues were in agreement with his position on vaccine passports.

He pointed out that many institutions such as universities, hospitals and some events like concerts were already mandating their their students, customers, and clients be vaccinated.

Furthermore, he said that if he did try to implement a vaccine passport system, it would be in partnership with neighbouring health units of Ottawa and Renfrew.

“I don’t want it to be just for the EOHU area. I want it to be large regions because you’re going to have regional variability and that’s something you want to avoid,” Roumeliotis said.

Dr. Roumeliotis pointed to the province of BC which recently announced that as of Sept. 13 it would require its residents to show proof of vaccination to attend certain social and recreational events and that by doing so, they have increased the number of residents who have sought to get the vaccine.

“Having less people who are unvaccinated will decrease the spread of the virus,” said Roumeliotis.

Finally, Dr. Roumeliotis said that this move would also help businesses who will not have to worry if their patrons are unvaccinated.

In a statement to 680 News, the office of Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott said that vaccine passports were not required.

“Since the start of our vaccine rollout, Ontarians have had the ability to download or print an electronic COVID-19 vaccine receipt through the provincial portal, or by calling the provincial booking line, should proof of vaccination be required in a certain setting,” the statement reads.

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