Don't call 911 to report vaccine card violations, B.C. officials remind businesses
B.C.'s largest emergency dispatch operator says it has seen "a small number of calls" related to the province's vaccine card system since it came into effect on Monday, Sept. 13, and it's reminding businesses and members of the public not to call 911 unless there's an immediate risk to public safety.
E-Comm, which handles the vast majority of 911 calls in B.C., said most of the vaccine-card-related calls it's received have been from businesses looking to report people who were unwilling to provide their cards.
"It’s important to remember that 911 is for emergency situations where life or property is in jeopardy," a spokesperson for E-Comm said in an email to CTV News Vancouver.
"Unless there is an immediate risk to public safety, such as someone causing a disturbance or acting aggressively, non-compliance related to immunization records should not be reported on emergency lines."
The dispatcher said it expected to see an increase in calls about vaccine card non-compliance over the weekend, when restaurants and bars are typically busier.
Since Sept. 13, B.C. residents have been required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to patronize certain non-essential businesses and events.
Until Sept. 27, the paper immunization record provided at a B.C. vaccination clinic is acceptable, but after that date, residents will have to show their unique vaccine QR code, along with a piece of photo ID.
For now, proof of a first dose of vaccine is sufficient to gain entry into the designated areas. By Oct. 24, proof of full vaccination will be required.
Protests have been held across the province since the vaccine card system was announced, and thousands gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday for the latest round of demonstrations.
As of Friday, 86.5 per cent of eligible B.C. residents age 12 or older had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 78.9 per cent had received both doses.