Manitoba working on QR code technology that could be used to track vaccination status
May 6, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Canadian province of Manitoba may be looking into creating a type of COVID-19 vaccine record card enabled by QR code, which could be used as a sort of digital “vaccine passport” according to a source who works with the government.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews, a source within Manitoba Shared Health’s IT department spoke on the condition of anonymity about new QR code capabilities being developed for COVID-19 vaccine cards.
The source said that information he has seen appears to show the new type of computer program using QR code technology dubbed “Vaxcard.”
A QR code is a form of a barcode which links to information and was invented 1994. It is widely used for a variety of applications.
The “Vaxcard” technology appears to be in a “near release” stage of development, and for now does not include phone applications, although the source told LifeSiteNews a phone app is “likely.”
“I get to see a lot of these systems before they are released, and it was brought up on our team, we were working on this. It can be used to generate a QR code with a link to the Manitoba [government] website and list vaccine records and status of COVID-19 vaccine stats, or possibly be used for other shots, as well,” said the source.
He is not sure how much the QR code “Vaxcard” is common knowledge among government workers, but he has concerns over what it could morph into.
The source told LifeSiteNews that he is concerned the introduction of a QR code to a vaccine card could eventually lead to some type of full blown “COVID passport,” or be integrated into any potential future ones at the federal level.
The source shared a screenshot of a test page of both a QR code sample, as well as a test “consent” page which shows what one must agree to in order to obtain a “Vaxcard.”
The test page text states, “I understand that every time the QR code on my immunization card is scanned, Manitoba’s Department of Health and Seniors Care will disclose my personal health information (full name, date of most recent COVID-19 vaccination and type of vaccination received) to the third party scanning the QR code.”
The image of the consent page goes on to state that by “presenting the QR code on my Immunization Card to a third party to be scanned, I consent to this disclosure by Manitoba’s Department of Health and Seniors Care to the third party scanning the QR code.”
“I understand that every separate instance of scanning the QR code on my immunization Card is considered a separate disclosure and that for each instance where I present my Immunization Card to be scanned, I am consenting to this disclosure by Manitoba’s Department of Health and Seniors Care,” reads the consent message.
It is not clear what types of “third parties” would constitute having a need for one’s COVID-19 vaccine status, but it appears to be VeroSource Solutions, which already works with Manitoba’s Department of Health and Seniors Care on its new online proof-of-immunization records service, introduced in February.
VeroSource was founded in 2014, with a “dream of putting healthcare information in the hands of people and families.”
According to VeroSource’s website, “Citizens are now able to securely access their COVID-19 immunization history, in addition to their COVID-19 test results, using the VeroSource cloud service.”
The Manitoba government already has available to its residents a page where one can ask to access personal “COVID-19” vaccine records. Once registered, it is possible to print COVID-19 vaccine record. This registry system uses VeroSource software.
The Manitoba government website does state, however, that they are developing “a more permanent record of immunization” for the future. “Manitoba is developing a secure, more permanent card that will be available later this spring. More information will be provided as soon as possible.”
When asked about this note on the government website, the source said that it could very well be the coming QR code card that is in the works, as it fits well with the timelines of the project.
LifeSiteNews reached out to the Ministry of Health for the Manitoba government, asking about its “more permanent card,” and if there are any plans for a type of local “vaccine passport.”
As of press time, there has been no reply.
The Manitoba government website does state that all “Manitobans should have access to their personal health information. Your employer or other companies or organizations should not ask you for proof of immunization.
It is not clear if the new “Vaxcard” system will replace the current vaccine access system in place.
“I feel like this is something I should warn people about, I just don’t want to get canceled”
The source told LifeSiteNews that he disclosed the information about the QR code “Vaxcard” because he could not in good conscience go along with what his government is “currently working on” when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine cards.
He also stated that he thinks the current COVID-19 situation in his home province of Manitoba has been exasperated by a provincial government that has not done its part to increase hospital capacity.
He said that he sees the warning signs of his provincial COVID QR code as being used as a jumping point into a full-blown “vaccine passport.”
“We’ve managed to make people distrust each other on both ends of the spectrum. I’m not an anti-vaxxer at all, I hate politics in general, I never really choose a side, their sole job to be protect people’s rights,” the source told LifeSiteNews.
“I was privy to the information — most of the people on the team were pretty compliant about it, saying things like, ‘This kind of stuff is necessary,’ and buying into the propaganda. I feel like this is something I should warn people about, but I just don’t want to get canceled.”
The source said that when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, he prefers to call them “experimental injections” and will not be seeking to get one, although there is internal pressure for all workers to do so.
“We’re adults, we don’t need to the government to hold our hands all the time,” said the source.
Currently, no Canadian province has implemented any type of “vaccine passport.” However, most allow people to access their vaccine status online.
At the federal level, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said his government is “right now” working on “certificates of vaccination” for travel with its allies, saying they are to be “expected.”
Jay Cameron, a lawyer with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), told LifeSiteNews that any introduction of a “vaccine passport” in Canada would violate one’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadians have a fundamental right to make decisions regarding their own bodies. The Charter also protects the fundamental freedoms of conscience and religion, and a Charter right to enter and leave their own country freely. COVID vaccine passports would violate all of these Charter protections,” said Cameron.