Businesses, Services and Events – PEI Vax Pass FAQs

Questions About the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App

Where can I get the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App?

The PEI Vax Pass Verifier App is now available for free download from the Apple App Store and for free download from the Google Play Store.


Is the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App free?

Yes, the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App is free to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. After the App is downloaded, an internet connection is not required to verify QR codes. An internet connection will be required to check and download updates to the App. It is recommended to check for updates at least once per week. The App does not store or retain any of the individual’s information.


What devices/versions does the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App work on?

The PEI Vax Pass Verifier App is compatible with Apple iPhone and iPad iOS version 8 and higher, and on Android smartphones and tablets OS version 6.0 (API Level 23) and higher.


How do I use the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App?

Once you have downloaded the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App to the mobile device, open the app, you will be on a landing page that will allow you to start scanning Vax Pass QR codes:

  • Click the SCAN CODE
  • Point the camera at the PEI Vax Pass QR code (either on the person’s mobile device or printed copy)
  • If the screen appears green with a checkmark, the individual’s name and “Confirmed! Thank you” – check the person’s name on the screen against their government issued ID; if the names match, the person is fully vaccinated and can enter the location.

PEI Vax Pass confirmation page

  • If the screen appears red with an ‘X’ and the text “Unable to Confirm”, as well as the reason why the scan was not successful, which will determine your next steps to validate vaccination status:
    • “Does not meet Public Health Guidelines” - the person is not verified as fully vaccinated based on the PEI Public Health definition of fully vaccinated.
    • “Could not validate issuer” – the verifier cannot confirm the issuer’s digital signature on the QR code and the individual’s proof of vaccination should be manually verified.

unable to confirm PEI Vax Pass


Does my business/service/event have to use the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App (or any QR code reader app) to confirm an individual’s vaccination status or can I just keep checking the PEI Vax Pass/vaccination records manually?

It is recommended that business and organizations requiring proof of vaccination to use the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App as the most secure option. Some individuals will not have QR codes on their vaccination records and manual review will still be required in these situations.


Who can download or use the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App?

Anyone with a compatible Apple or Android device can download and use the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App.


Can I scan a PEI Vax Pass without using the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App?

It is strongly recommended that you use the PEI Vax Pass Verifier app. The app meets the requirements of the PEI Vax Pass Program and has been reviewed for privacy and security. If you use another app, you must complete your own due diligence to ensure it complies with all applicable privacy legislation.


Is a print copy of PEI Vax Pass featuring the QR code an acceptable government-issued proof of vaccination?

Yes. Individuals may choose to carry a print copy of their PEI Vax Pass – either the full page used for international travel or the wallet-sized version. The QR code can be scanned and government-issued ID (photo preferred, but not required) to validate the individual’s identity. If you are using a print copy, to ensure that the QR code can be scanned by the Verifier App, do not fold or wrinkle the QR code.


Can a person refuse to have their QR code scanned and show their vaccination details to confirm their proof of vaccination?

Yes. Even though they may present their PEI Vax Pass containing a QR code, individuals can refuse to have their QR code scanned and ask that their vaccination details be reviewed instead. In this situation, it is important to ensure the vaccination details meet the definition of fully vaccinated and that the name on the PEI Vax Pass match the name on the government-issued ID provided to confirm their identify.


When might a PEI Vax Pass QR code not scan using the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App?

A PEI Vax Pass QR code might not scan correctly if it:

  • has been folded over
  • is faded or worn down
  • has a tear
  • is a poor digital image (pixelated photo of paper-based QR code)

It may also be difficult for the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App to scan the QR code if there is poor lighting.

In these situations, it is advised to explain to the individual what may be the cause of the issue. To satisfy the requirement of proof of vaccination, you can review their vaccination details instead.


Questions About the PEI Vax Pass Program

What is the PEI Vax Pass Program?

The PEI Vax Pass Program is a time-limited initiative that requires individuals 12 years of age and older to be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination (a PEI Vax Pass) to enter some venues or attend certain events. The PEI Vax Pass will not be needed to enter essential, non-discretionary services such as grocery stores or healthcare.


Why is PEI bringing in the PEI Vax Pass policy?

PEI continues to be in a State of Public Health Emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada is currently experiencing the 4th wave and most infectious wave of the pandemic. Across Canada, cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 are increasing significantly due to the Delta variant, that spreads easily between people. Access to healthcare in other provinces has been compromised due to the surge in cases needing care. People who are fully vaccinated are also much less likely to need to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to unvaccinated people (25 times less likely based on national surveillance data from the Public Health Agency of Canada as of October 2, 2021). Even though the Delta variant spreads much more easily, people who are fully vaccinated are less likely to become severely ill and need hospital care if they do get COVID-19.


When will the PEI Vax Pass move from paper to electronic format?

The digital PEI Vax Pass, which features a unique QR code with a person’s authenticated COVID-19 record of vaccination, is now available for download through the COVID-19 Immunization Record portal. The PEI Vax Pass can also be printed. Both the paper and digital formats will be accepted at locations requiring proof of vaccination.

Businesses, services and events will soon be able to scan the QR code using the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App.


How long will the PEI VAX Pass policy be in effect?

The PEI Vax Pass policy is a time-limited measure that will be lifted when the Chief Public Health Office determines the risk of COVID-19 in the province is reduced. The Chief Public Health Office is constantly assessing the COVID-19 situation locally, across the country, and internationally, including the level of protection offered by vaccination. Public health measures are adjusted to protect healthcare capacity in PEI while minimizing disruption to PEI residents.


Why is it safer for people for people who are fully vaccinated to gather together?

People who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus. If their immune system does encounter the virus, it is armed and ready to fight it. People who are fully vaccinated are also less likely to pass COVID-19 to other individuals - studies indicate that fully vaccinated people who get COVID-19 have a shortened amount of time in which they are able to spread the illness to others. As such, at a proof of vaccination event, the risk of widespread transmission leading to an outbreak is reduced. People who are fully vaccinated are also much less likely to need to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to unvaccinated people (25 times less likely based on national surveillance data from the Public Health Agency of Canada as of October 2, 2021).


Why aren’t employees required to be fully vaccinated at the locations and events that require the PEI VAX Pass?

The Chief Public Health Office considers employment to be a non-discretionary activity and an important factor in contributing to an individual’s overall health and wellbeing. The PEI Vax Pass program does not apply to staff and employees, including at locations/activities where the program applies to patrons.

To date, the CPHO has not implemented a mandatory vaccination requirement in any place of employment. The CPHO has implemented vaccinate-or-test requirements in select front-line public services who serve vulnerable populations, including health care, education, early learning child care centres and correctional services, for example, whereby staff who are not fully vaccinated or who choose not to disclose their vaccination status must be tested on a regular basis to attend their place of employment.  For those interested, a sample vaccinate-or-test policy template is available.

Businesses and organizations are encouraged to operate within the parameters of the current public health orders. The CPHO advises that businesses and organizations should continue to follow existing public health measures for staff. Maintaining public health measures like physical distancing between staff, the use of non-medical masks, frequent hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and exclusion policies to ensure sick or self-isolating staff do not attend the workplace are important to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission in workplace environments.  Measures continue to be evaluated and adjusted based on level of risk.

Organizations and businesses not covered by current public health orders that implement mandatory vaccination policies for staff do so at their own discretion, and not at the direction of the Chief Public Health Office or the Province of PEI. Organizations should consider the impact of a mandatory vaccination policy on staff and customers and make it clear that the policy is business-specific and not a provincial directive.


When is an individual considered fully vaccinated?

The Vax Pass program requires people to be fully vaccinated to enter some venues or attend certain events.

A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the full series (two doses) of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

The Vax Pass will not be needed to enter essential, non-discretionary services such as grocery stores or healthcare.


Do business and events that implement a PEI VAX Pass have to follow other public health measures?

The PEI VAX Pass is another measure to help reduce the risk of outbreaks and preserve healthcare capacity. At this time, other public measures such as masking, cohorting and gathering limits remain in place. For events/locations requiring the PEI Vax Pass, physical distancing within a cohort is not required.


My business/service/event requires individuals to provide a PEI Vax Pass, do I still need to collect their name and phone number for contact tracing purposes?

No. Businesses, services and events requiring a Vax Pass do not need to collect individuals names and phone numbers for contact tracing.


Where do I direct individuals looking to get a copy of their PEI Vax Pass who do not have computer access?

Island residents and others who were vaccinated in Prince Edward Island can visit any of the following locations to print a copy of their PEI Vax Pass:

If they are having trouble accessing their PEI Vax Pass (from home or any of the above noted locations), they can call the COVID-19 Immunization Program toll-free at 1-844-975-3303 to request a copy of their PEI Vax Pass.

Individuals who were vaccinated in another Canadian province/territory or in another country will need to request a copy of their government-issued vaccination record from that location.


How is PEI Vax Pass different than the PEI Pass?

The PEI Vax Pass is a government-issued proof of vaccination confirming your vaccination status. Under this program only individuals who are fully vaccinated or who have an approved medical exemption from PEI’s Chief Public Health Office will be able to access certain businesses, services and events requiring a PEI Vax Pass.

The PEI Pass is the application that allows returning PEI residents and visitors who meet the appropriate criteria to be exempt from self-isolation when entering the province. In some cases, individuals may have been granted a PEI Pass without being fully vaccinated.


Can individuals use their PEI Pass as proof of vaccination?

No. The PEI Pass cannot be used as proof of vaccination under the PEI Vax Pass Program. The PEI Pass is only for point-of-entry into the province. Individuals will still need to show either their PEI Vax Pass, a government-issued proof of vaccination confirming that they are fully vaccinated or have an approved medical exemption from PEI’s Chief Public Health Office in order to access certain businesses, services and events requiring proof of vaccination.


Some individuals do not have government-issued photo identification but have other government issued ID with their name that matches their PEI Vax Pass or vaccination record. Does this satisfy the requirement?

Yes. Some individuals, such as seniors, may not have government issued photo identification, but will have other examples of government issued identification (such as health card, birth certificate). In these situations, businesses and organizations should be open to accommodating these individuals by requesting other government issued documents such has health cards, birth certificates, etc.

For seniors older than age 65, if they do not have government-issued ID, businesses and organizations should employ discretion in accepting the proof of vaccination without associated ID. 


Are there any exemptions for the PEI VAX Pass Program?

Yes.

  1. There are no vaccines currently approved in Canada for children under the age of 12 years old. Children 11 years of age and younger are exempt from the VAX Pass policy as they are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. Children who are soon turning 12 years old have a three-month grace period to get fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination (e.g. a child whose 12th birthday is September 1, 2021, will have until December 1, 2021 to get fully vaccinated).
  2. Participants in youth sports and recreational activities who are less than 19 years of age.
  3. Medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination may be granted for extremely rare circumstances that have been defined and shared with care providers. Individuals claiming a medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination will be required to request a medical exemption through their primary care provider (family physician or nurse practitioner).  People without a primary care can visit a walk-in clinic.

Does PEI accept medical exemptions from other provinces?

No. At this time, only people with medical exemptions approved by the PEI Chief Public Health Office are accepted.


What does a medical exemption cover?

A medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine allows a person to enter events or locations that require proof of vaccination. People who have received medical exemptions may be required to follow additional measures as directed by the PEI Chief Public Health Officer, such as COVID-19 testing.


Is a valid negative COVID-19 test result (taken within the last 24-hours) acceptable for entry to places that require the PEI Vax Pass?

No. A negative COVID-19 test result is not an accepted alternative to providing a PEI Vax Pass or government-issued proof of vaccination. Individuals must provide either a PEI Vax Pass or theira government-issued proof of vaccination confirming that they are fully vaccinated to access businesses, services and events requiring a PEI Vax Pass.


How does a business, service or event verify proof of vaccination?

Businesses and organizations can verify that an individual is fully vaccinated by scanning the PEI Vax Pass QR code using the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App.

Where the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App isn’t or can’t be used, the business or organization will verify proof of vaccination by ensuring that the vaccination information on the PEI Vax Pass or government-issued proof of vaccination contains:

  • the person’s name
  • the brand(s) of vaccine received (such as Moderna SpikevaxTM, Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM, AstraZeneca VaxzevriaTM / CoviShield, etc)
  • an indication that all required doses for that brand of vaccine were received  
  • the date when the final dose was received

Individuals 19 years of age and older will also need to provide a government-issued photo ID that matches the name and date of birth on the vaccination record. When a photo ID is not available, another piece of government-issued ID (e.g. health card, birth certificate, etc.) is acceptable.

individuals aged 12 to 18 only need to show their PEI Vax Pass or government-issued proof of vaccination – no addition piece of identification is required.


What type of records can be presented for proof of vaccination?

Examples of vaccination records from across Canada are available online.


I’m concerned that my employer isn’t properly complying with the requirement ask our clients/guests for their proof of vaccination when they should be. Where do I direct my concerns? 

If you have concerns that your place of employment isn’t complying with the requirement to verify clients’/guests’ proof of vaccination when they should be you can share your concerns by emailing vaxpass@gov.pe.ca or calling the Vax Pass Business phone line toll-free 1-833-533-9333 (select option 3, then option 1). Your concerns will be reviewed by an inspector who will follow-up with that venue. 

Please do not call 9-1-1 or local law enforcement unless it is an emergency (i.e. someone is being threatened).


For situations where organizations are renting space from a facility, who is responsible for ensuring patrons comply with proof of vaccination requirements?

Many of the responsibilities for businesses, services and organizations relating to verifying proof of vaccination are mandatory and are contained in a public health order, the COVID-19 Prevention and Self-Isolation Order. There are listed requirements for businesses, services and organizations including in some instances for facilities, to verify proof of vaccination.

For example, operators of businesses, services and organizations that operate recreation facilities, such as indoor gyms, exercise and dance facilities or studios, swimming pools, and skating rinks must ensure patrons 12 years of age and older who access the facilities provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of medical exemption, except when a patron is less than 19 years of age and participating (not as a spectator) in youth sport.

Also, operators of businesses, services or organizations that offer organized recreation or team sports must ensure all patrons 12 years of age and older who participate in their activities, including coaches, officials, spectators and volunteers, provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of medical exemption, except when an individual is less than 19 years of age and participating (not as a spectator) in youth sport.

There may be situations where two or more businesses, services or organizations need to ensure proof of vaccination requirements are met in a similar fact situation, such as sports team activities at an arena or when various businesses, services or organizations rent their spaces.  In these situations, businesses, services and organizations may need to work together on details associated with each situation, perhaps through business agreements, to ensure each business, service and organization’s mandatory responsibilities for patron proof of vaccination are met.  


For situations where facilities are renting space to an organization, who is responsible for ensuring patrons comply with proof of vaccination requirements?

Unless your business, service or organization is specifically listed in the Prevention and Self Isolation public health order (such as food premises and licensed premises, casinos and movie theatres, indoor gyms, exercise/dance facilities/studios, swimming pools, skating rinks, bingo halls, businesses, services or organizations that offer group activities such as concerts, performances, art and music events, choir or art classes or that offer indoor and outdoor gatherings and events including wedding and funeral receptions and wakes, conferences, trade fairs and workshops), the onus on verifying the proof of vaccination is on the business, service or organization offering the activity, including possibly the organizer of that activity. Please note guidance is subject to change and the province of PEI is not able to provide legal advice to the public for their individual situations. Further questions regarding legal liability should be directed to a business’s legal counsel.

There may be situations where two or more businesses, services or organizations need to ensure proof of vaccination requirements are met in a similar fact situation, such as sports team activities at an arena or when various businesses, services or organizations rent their spaces.  In these situations, businesses, services and organizations may need to work together on details associated with each situation, perhaps through business agreements, to ensure each business, service and organization’s mandatory responsibilities for patron proof of vaccination are met.  


Are records for contact tracing still required for Vax Pass events?

Records for contact tracing are not required for proof of vaccination events. Instead of reaching out to individuals, should there be an exposure at a proof of vaccination event, there would be a public notification with guidance for individuals. This is because at a proof of vaccination event the risk of an widespread transmission leading to an outbreak is reduced, because fully vaccinated people are less likely to get infected and pass it on to other individuals.

For activities where proof of vaccination is not required, records for contact tracing is still required. This includes youth activities that are exempt from the vax pass requirement.

Published date: 
November 23, 2021
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca