Supply shortages that delayed shipments of Manitoba proof-of-vaccination cards have been resolved, the province says, but some people are still waiting.
Jim Zepp of Winnipeg enlisted a friend with a computer to apply for COVID-19 vaccine cards for him and his wife when they became eligible in late June. The couple got their digital proof, but no physical cards ever arrived in the mail. They have now applied three separate times.
"I can't be the only one, and if there's a large enough number (of people still waiting for cards), the politicians should be saying they have a plan to deal with this," Zepp said.
Barbara Palmer experienced a similar delay. She and her husband applied for their vaccine cards on the same day: July 3. He received his individual card in less than three weeks; hers arrived Sept 16.
Palmer said she spoke to a half-dozen people — call centre employees, immunization-record support staff, and even her local MLA's office — over the past two months, trying to secure the physical card. She reapplied for it four times.
Keeping perspective in light of the global pandemic, the delay in getting her physical proof-of-vaccine card is no big deal, Palmer said. She was able to access her digital QR code on her cellphone — but a card is more convenient, she said.
"This is minute, very minute, but the point is, nobody seems to want to help," she said of her efforts to get to the bottom of the delay.
A provincial spokesperson said Wednesday they were not aware of any current delays in receiving the plastic cards and didn't have any information on how many people are still waiting.
It should now take roughly three weeks to get a card in the mail after requesting one online, the province says.
There were supply delays from the blank card manufacturer this summer, but the provincial spokesperson said all cards requested by Aug. 16 were mailed out by Sept. 3, and all cards requested by Aug. 28 were mailed out by Sept. 10.
Proof of vaccination is required to enter restaurants, casinos, theatres, sporting events and to participate in many other activities in Manitoba. The digital QR code contains the same information as a physical card and is accepted as proof interchangeably.
Katie May reports on courts, crime and justice for the Free Press.