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COVID-19 QR codes soon to become only accepted proof of vaccine status

On your phone or on paper, QR code needed to show proof of vaccine from Nov. 15 onward.
qrcode
Download the app or take a screen shot of your personalized QR code; but don't fret: paper copy is ok too. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

Since its introduction in mid-October, the QR code and app for individuals and businesses to verify vaccination status has caused concern. Initially, some businesses have found difficulty reading the QR code (there was an error when downloaded to Mac devices), and even more concerning, people who only have an older device, flip phone or no smart phone at all have been saying, what about us?

Health Minister Jason Copping said Albertans without a cell phone or computer get their printed QR code at a registry at no cost. (Albertans are advised not to fold the paper on top of the QR code portion of the page). The QR code is expected to be a fact of life until at least the first quarter of 2022, according to Premier Jason Kenney.

The AB COVID Records Verifier app is available for download on Apple and Android devices through the respective app stores. Any vaccinated Albertan can download, screenshot or print the code too.

The code will be the only proof of vaccination accepted at businesses taking part in the Restrictions Exemption Program after Nov. 15.

Albertans can also get the enhanced vaccine record with a QR code online at alberta.ca/CovidRecords without creating an account.

“Our new proof of vaccine record and verifier app allows Albertans to easily show their vaccine record so they can safely visit a recreation centre, gym, restaurant, or attend a sports or arts event," said Health Minister Jason Copping. 

When a valid QR code is scanned, a green check mark will verify the proof of vaccination. It will also display a person’s name and date of birth, which businesses are asked to check against other identification. The app does not store any personal information and does not require an internet connection to operate once downloaded.

Copping said the QR code contains a secure digital signature that verifies it’s provided by Alberta Health and is extremely hard to forge. If a person does not meet the vaccination requirement set in the Restrictions Exemption Program or if the QR code is tampered with, the record will show as invalid when scanned.

Users are cautioned not to share their QR codes on social media as they do show date of birth and full name, in addition to verifying proof of vaccination, when scanned. The QR code is not connected to any other health or personal information.

Other forms of proof of vaccination will continue to be accepted until Nov. 15, including paper records from vaccine providers or a screenshot, or a printed record from alberta.ca/CovidRecords or MyHealthRecords.

If there are issues scanning a QR code from your phone, users are advised to zoom in on the code and increase the brightness. The QR code may not scan properly if the printing size is reduced or the paper copy is wrinkled. 

Anyone who has missing or incorrect information on their vaccine record or has issues accessing it, can go to alberta.ca/CovidRecordsHelp.

Businesses experiencing issues with the app can contact the support line at 1-888-527-1224 or email covid19record@gov.ab.ca.