B.C.’s vaccine card fails to show 2 doses for some as deadline approaches for full vaccination

Ray Greene was quick to get his COVID-19 shots when he became eligible in the spring, and he was quick to log on and access his B.C. vaccine card to prove he was vaccinated.

But after realizing the digital card didn’t show his correct immunization status, the wait to have it fixed has been anything but quick. 

“My earlier dose is still not showing up on my vaccine passport, even though it’s been there for months,” said Greene, who lives in Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island. 

He registered the error about three weeks ago — and was told it would take four to seven days to have it resolved — but Greene’s vaccine card still doesn’t reflect his full immunization status.

B.C.’s vaccine passport system has been in effect since Sept. 13. It’s being phased in, so a single vaccine dose is currently enough to access dine-in restaurants, non-essential services, and events. But as of Oct. 24, full vaccination will be required for those things.

According to Premier John Horgan, 3.4 million people have accessed their vaccine card. Most have had a smooth experience, but many people, like Greene, have encountered glitches.

A customer has their vaccine card scanned outside of Jam Cafe in Vancouver on September 15, 2021. (Maggie MacPherson)

Pam Armstrong, who lives in Nelson, B.C., ran across the same error as Greene — one of her doses didn’t appear on the vaccine card.

Armstrong says she doesn’t dine out much or go to concerts, so there hasn’t been any rush to fix the problem. But it’s yet another hoop to jump through, when she’s already feeling exhausted by the pandemic.

“I’ll persist one day when I don’t feel frustrated. I’ll persist and get the right code, but in the meantime, I’m done with worrying about it. It’s been a rough, rotten almost two years here,” she said.

‘That’s not right’

In Alexis Creek, B.C., Jesse Wilson also found his vaccine record was incomplete when he logged on to the app. 

“It just like, instantly said, ‘You’re partially vaccinated’ and it registered my first shot as the one I got in June and that I’m overdue for my second shot. And I’m like, ‘That’s not right,'” said Wilson.

He’s been trying to get it fixed, but it’s been a couple of weeks since he lodged his complaint and uploaded a photo of the document he received when he got the shots.

Hundreds of reportedly incorrect vaccine records

Horgan said on Thursday that he’s not aware of any widespread glitches with the B.C. vaccine card. 

The Health Ministry said since the system launched there have been 3,200 calls logged from people reporting incorrect vaccine status. However, many of those could be people calling repeatedly, and others have emailed, or lodged their complaints in other ways.

The ministry hasn’t tracked exactly how many people have experienced the glitch encountered by Greene, Armstrong and Wilson.

The ministry said in a written statement that “every effort will be made” to update a person’s vaccine record within four to seven days. It said about half of the issues reported since the system launched have been resolved.

For Wilson, the hope is that his problem will be sorted out before full vaccination is required for many activities on Oct. 24.

“It’s kind of frustrating. I try to be a responsible person and you’d think they would recognize people trying to be responsible, and here we are, just kind of in limbo,” he said.

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