(Updated 11/28/21: Added extensive list of trusted issuers of digital vaccine certificates, adjusted what qualifies as "fully vaccinated," changes for clarity. Watch this space for updates!)
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the rise of more contagious strains like the Delta variant, BABSCon will be requiring proof of full vaccination from everyone in attendance for BABSCon 2022. This means attendees, staff, vendors, panelists, guests…everyone.
The only exceptions to this rule are those who cannot be vaccinated because of documented medical reasons and those not yet old enough to be vaccinated (children under 5 years old). Those unable to be vaccinated will be required to show documentation of a negative COVID-19 test performed no more than 72 hours before the convention.
Acceptable Proof of Vaccination: We will be requiring verified digital certificates or vaccine passports for everyone capable of getting one. SMART Health, EU Digital COVID Certificate, or similar QR Codes from trusted issuers are preferable, but any digital record verified against government vaccination records will be accepted. (See FAQ below.)
Acceptable Proof of Medical Exemption: We will only accept a doctor’s letter—M.D., D.O., or M.B.B.S. licensed to practice medicine in your state or country, no “alternative” practitioners—verifying that you have a condition preventing you from being vaccinated. This must be on office letterhead containing the doctor’s contact information for verification. Originals only. Copies or photos will not be accepted.
Mask Policy: TBD. It is our hope that, by our dates of April 15–17, the current coronavirus surge will have abated. If so, our intent is to recommend rather than require masks in con spaces. However, if State or local health authorities, or prevailing COVID conditions, require masks, the so would we. Please watch this space for updates on this policy.
- What Constitutes “Full Vaccination”?
At least 2 shots of vaccines requiring them—such as Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca—or one shot of Johnson & Johnson. Your last shot or booster must have been less than 6 months before the con.
If booster shots are not available in your country as of March 15, 2022, then the 2 shots of Moderna, Pfizer, or AstraZenica, or 1 shot of Johnson & Johnson will suffice.
- Why Are You Not Accepting Physical Cards?
There’s unfortunately a very good reason why. Forged cards are far too easy to make or buy and verified digital certificates or passports can’t be faked. The only exception to this is attendees from countries simply refusing to issue digital vaccine certificates or passports. In that case, and that case only, will we accept a physical document.
- So Where Do I Get A Digital Certificate or Vaccine Passport?
Here is a comprehensive—and always growing—list of trusted government and private providers of digital vaccine card using the SmartHealth QR Code standard. If your City, State, Province, or Country doesn't issue digital vaccination certificates/passports, then check the list to see if the facility at which you were vaccinated can give you a SmartHealth card.
US States: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Puerto Rico
Canadian Provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Québec, Saskachewan, Yukon.
The UK: England or Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland.
Other Countries: The EU, List of Additional Countries that Issue Digital Certificates
For all US-based attendees from states or territories not listed, 3rd party options exist which are verified and bound by both HIPAA and relevant privacy laws:
• VaxYes (Available for everyone in the US. Level 3 or 4 verification only, bound by California's stringent data privacy laws in addition to HIPAA)
• Clear (for those vaccinated at Clear partner facilities—check if yours qualifies)
- What If I Can't Get an Accepted Record With a QR Code From Any of Those Sources?
Then you would have to log in to the website of your State/Province/Country health department's website, or the website of the company or organization where you were vaccinated, in front of our registration staff. That way, they can watch you pull up a record proving vaccination in a manner that also can't be faked. Screenshots will not be accepted.
- What About Rumors That the Vaccines Aren’t Safe?
This is simply not true. Side effects and adverse reactions are extremely rare, and usually very short-lived when they do occur. And, needless to say, any conspiracy theories about the vaccines containing microchips, altering your genes or DNA, making you magnetic, etc., are just that: conspiracy theories, and no more true than the Flat-Earth theory.
- Isn’t Asking Me for My Vaccination Status a Violation of HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)?
No, it is not.
- But What About My Freedom of Choice Not to be Vaccinated?
That is absolutely your choice, but that choice comes with the consequence of not being able to attend our convention.
- Don’t We Get a Religious Exemption?
No, BABSCon is not allowing religious exemptions to our vaccine requirements. While BABSCon respects freedom of conscience and religious belief, we must prioritize human life and health. Additionally, most major religions have no objection to their believers being vaccinated.
Please check back between now and the con as new information is received. If you have any questions about these policies, please email email@example.com.