New tool is helping Ontarians easily show their proof of vaccination
TORONTO -- Ontarians are required to show proof of vaccination before entering a number of non-essential settings and one group of volunteers is aiming to make the transition as smooth as possible.
The new tool, created by the team of Ontario volunteers made up of software engineers, healthcare workers, students and more, is helping residents add their proof of vaccination to their iPhone Apple Wallets in a few simple steps.
The tool is meant to serve as a solution in the interim between now and Oct. 22, when the province says a standardized QR code system will come into effect.
The tool guides users through saving their proof of vaccination PDF from the MOH’s website, prompts them to then upload it onto their website and then allows users to add the proof to their Apple Wallet with a click of a button.
“No personal data is sent to the internet,” the group says. “[The] QR code is for verification only, with no personal info.”
The colour of the pass within your Apple Wallet will depend on your vaccination status. One dose is shown as orange, while two doses appears as green “for easy differentiation without reading the text.”
One of the creators, Billy Lo, told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday that his team was keen to help in any way they could.
“For software engineers, we cannot treat patients, right? But it's really an all hands on deck situation, so we can help in other ways,” Lo said.
The group of volunteers is the same responsible for creating the all-in-one vaccine appointment finding tool at vaccine-ontario.ca.
“All of us [are] quite eager to kind of do our own civic duty,” Lo said.
“I think this is a lot of bad news lately but there's also some good news.”
So far, they say that 58,028 receipts have been processed through their tool since Sept. 2.
On their website, the volunteers say that they have plans to expand into Andriod usage and potentially into additional provinces, depending on volunteer interest.
The Ministry of Finance told CTV News Toronto Wednesday that they are building an app and plan to release it as open source software, but that there will remain options for those who do not have access to digital tools.
“We want to stress that digital first doesn’t mean digital only. On Oct. 22, people will have the choice to download the QR code enhanced vaccine certificate or they can continue to use the print version,” Ministry spokesperson Amanda Brodhagen said.
“We are aware of vaccine certificate tools being developed by volunteers, and while we appreciate groups bringing forward novel solutions, we strongly encourage Ontarians to examine any product's privacy and security policies, and to be cautious of sharing personal data, especially health information.”
The Ministry also underlined that the app they're developing is for businesses to scan QR codes and that the public will only have to show those codes.