The provincial government of British Columbia recently introduced the BC Vaccine Card, effective September 13, 2021. This order from the provincial health officer requires proof of a Covid-19 vaccination to access certain events, services and non-essential businesses, including dining in restaurants, attending indoor events and visiting fitness centres. By October 24, 2021, proof of both vaccinations must be shown.
We understand that there are many questions regarding this new process. That is why we have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions and provided the answers you need to confidently navigate through your daily life as an international student in Vancouver:
How do I get the BC Vaccine Card (Vaccine Passport)?
If you want to get your vaccine card, you will need your (temporary) Personal Health Number, your Date of Birth, and your Date of Vaccination (dose 1 or dose 2). We have created a downloadable step-by-step “Get your Vaccine Card” instructional guide so you know exactly what to do.
What vaccines are accepted for the BC Vaccine Card?
All Health Canada approved vaccines will be accepted for the BC Vaccine Card. Health Canada also recently authorized brand name changes for three of the four approved Covid-19 vaccines:
- Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be named Comirnaty
- Moderna vaccine will be named SpikeVax
- AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria.
The vaccines will remain exactly the same, since this was only a brand name change.
Can I get the Vaccine Card if my vaccine is not approved by Health Canada?
If you received a vaccine that is not approved by Health Canada, you won’t be able to get the BC Vaccine Card. The BC Vaccine Card is designed to work with your record of receiving at least one dose of a vaccine approved in Canada.
Students who would like to get a BC Vaccine Card can choose to get vaccinated again here in Canada. Vaccinations are free for international students living in Vancouver and can be done in one of the many vaccine drop-in clinics throughout the city.
If you were vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine you will still be able to take in person classes at VGC International College. However, you will not be able to enter certain businesses and events as listed on the government website.
Can I get the Vaccine Card if I was vaccinated outside of British Columbia? How does it work?
Yes! If you got vaccinated with a Health Canada approved vaccine in another province or country, you’ll need to complete the following three steps:
Step 1 – Register with on the BC’s Get Vaccinated website
You will need to visit the BC Get Vaccinated website and enter your first and last name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number (PHN) as well as an email address that gets checked regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages. You may receive a message to book a vaccine appointment but you can ignore this message if you have already gotten your vaccine.
If you need a PHN to upload your information, call a BC Services agent at 1-888-268-4319. They can also provide help in your first language.
Step 2 – Upload your vaccine record to BC’s Immunization Record website
Enter your personal health number and your vaccination records. Once uploaded it will take between 4 to 7 business days to be updated in the system. If there is an error in your record, you can complete this step again to submit a correction.
Step 3 – Get your BC Vaccine Card
Once your information is in the system, you can follow our downloadable step-by-step “Get your Vaccine Card” instructional guide. If you do not see a QR code, it means your information has not yet been updated in the system (see Step 2).
If you received a vaccine that is not approved by Health Canada, you won’t be able to get a BC vaccine card. Please refer to the previous question for more details.
Can I download the vaccine card to my phone to use it without internet?
Yes, there are two options to save it to your phone so you can present it without going online. You can either select “Save a copy” and save the digital copy to your device’s photo album or downloads folder. Another option would be to save a screenshot to your device. A screenshot will be enough proof to enter businesses.
Where is the proof of vaccination required?
You can find an updated list of all businesses and services that require proof of vaccination on the Government of BC’s website.
Will I need to show the proof of vaccination at places providing essential services?
No, proof of vaccination will not be required to access places providing essential services, such as grocery stores, public transit, pharmacies or medical facilities.
What can I use while I am waiting to get my BC Vaccine Card?
If you don’t have a BC Vaccine Card yet or are still waiting for your documents to be registered in the BC Immunization Record system must show:
- Proof of vaccination you used to enter Canada
Are there exemptions from providing proof of vaccination?
The only exemptions are currently for children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. There are no exemptions for medical or any other reasons.
Do I need the Vaccine Card to study at VGC?
VGC students won’t need to present the BC Vaccine Card in order to enter the campus; however, our vaccination policy requires all new students registering at VGC after September 7, 2021, to be vaccinated.
VGC International College will continue to accept all WHO-approved vaccines.
Do you have a question or concern about our vaccine policy, getting your vaccination, or the vaccine card? Our student services team can help you at [email protected] or in room G-308.
This information was last updated on September 20, 2021