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Here's what proof of vaccination looked like for Canadian immigrants in 1910

Immigrants would present this to prevent being held in detention
1910 vaccination card in the Museum of Vancouver's collection

The Museum of Vancouver has shared an interesting artifact from their collection; a vaccination card from 1910.

They posted an image of a curator holding it on their Instagram account, explaining that it's "from the SS Lake Champlain, an immigration ship that sailed from Liverpool to Quebec starting in 1900. Passengers took this trip to immigrate to Canada. From Quebec, many immigrants travelled west to Vancouver which is how this card ended up at MOV.

They go on to explain that "vaccination cards were a method of proof that one was protected from diseases present on board ships when immigrating to Canada in the early 20th century. Passengers would present this card to avoid being held in detention or quarantine upon arrival."

As the COVID-19 vaccines start to roll out in Canada, it's unclear what standardized proof of vaccination will look like, or if we'll need it to travel (or emigrate) from Canada to other countries.

As of Jan. 15, 2020, the WHO’s emergency committee is advising against countries requiring proof of vaccination by incoming travellers. They're saying that decisions on international travel should be co-ordinated, limited in time, and based on both the risks and the science.

We'll see what that means in the coming months.

In the meantime, travel through more of the museum's collection of artifacts they've got online, by way of their openMOV Collection.⁠

With files from The Canadian Press