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Canada may use vaccine passport at US border crossings

Posted at 9:26 AM, May 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 08:28:01-04

(WXYZ) — On a Canadian radio show, CBC's "The House," Canada's Health Minister Patty Hajdu was asked whether Canada would be taking part in a vaccine passport program for international travel, as has been discussed with other countries.

"Absolutely, Hajdu said. "First of all, Canadians need to be able to have the right kind of certification for international travel.”

It’s unclear how that would impact the border crossings between Detroit and Windsor, or any other travel, but the conversation is underway.

“I’m meeting on a regular basis with my G7 counterparts and this is an ongoing conversation about how that might look,” Hajdu said.

Just a mile and a half separates Detroit and Windsor, but when it comes to vaccinations they couldn’t be farther apart.

In Michigan, everyone 16 and older was eligible to be vaccinated beginning April 5. In Ontario, everyone won't be eligible until May 24.

“It's not open to everyone yet,” said Kari Sleiman, who lives just outside of Windsor.

Sleiman works in a retirement home and was one of the first Canadians to get vaccinated with both doses. Since then, things have changed. Her husband got his first dose last week, and his second is a long way away.

“His wait is 16 weeks," Sleiman said. "He has to wait until almost July until he can get his next vaccination.”

Right now in the U.S., 44% of all Americans have received one dose, and 31% are fully vaccinated. However, in Canada, 29% have received at least one dose and just 2.5% have been fully vaccinated.

“Canada’s approach is somewhat different than the United States," Hajdu said on the radio show. "I would say our approach is much more in line with the UK approach which is to get as many people that first dose as possible.”

In the meantime, Pfizer will begin sending doses from Michigan to Canada, helping our neighbors to the north get their first and second shots.