Flu season happens every year, but it’s possible to get the flu anytime. Getting sick is often unavoidable, but you can help prevent the flu and its spread by getting a flu vaccine. For medical practitioners, having flu vaccine consent forms on hand is essential. These legal documents are part of the necessary paperwork chain. Moreover, they prove that you have done your part to inform patients about the vaccine and gotten proper consent before administering it. We recommend using a professionally created template to reduce wasted time and ensure you get all the correct data. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about flu vaccine consent forms, so you have the documents you need.
What Is a Flu Vaccine Consent Form?
A flu vaccine consent form is a legal document showing the person getting the shot understands what is happening and voluntarily agrees to it. Having patients sign these crucial forms helps protect you from legal repercussions of side effects and litigation for battery because you can prove the vaccine was administered properly. These short forms collect patients’ contact info, relevant medical data, and consent. Additionally, the consent form should show which vaccine the patient received.
Why is a Flu Vaccine Consent Form Important?
Though they aren’t always required, it’s always a good idea to have a flu vaccine consent form signed before giving a patient their shot. Here is a quick list of reasons why a flu vaccine consent form is essential.
- Flu vaccines help people.
- Informed consent requirements are essential, and having a signed form shows that you are doing your job.
- Documenting how many flu vaccines are used and what specific variations are administered helps researchers create the next round of vaccines.
- Discussing vaccines with patients helps build trust in you personally and the medical community as a whole.
- Collecting consent forms helps protect doctors against allegations of battery.
- Keeping proper medical records is a vital part of your job.
Essential Elements of a Flu Vaccine Consent Form
When creating a flu vaccine consent form, you do not need to include the same acknowledgment statements as other medical consent forms. Here we’ve laid out the essential elements of a flu vaccine consent form so you can see where they belong on the page. You can download and fill out a professional template to save time or bookmark this page and create your own.
- Client Info – This is where the name, address, and DOB information belong. You should also have a line for minors’ parents or legal guardians to fill out. This should have their name, relationship to the child, and phone number.
- Health Assessment – Here, you will ask for relevant health information. You need to know if they have had a recent covid vaccine, fainting or bleeding disorder, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Oculo-Respiratory Syndrome, history of serious reactions to vaccines, neurological disorder, or allergies to Kanamycin, Polymyxin B, Neomycin, or Thimerosal.
- Assent Statement – Put a few brief sentences here that show the patient understands what is happening, the risks and benefits, and they voluntarily agree to have the shot.
- Signature and Date Lines – Have the patient and, if necessary, their parent or guardian sign the form and include the date. (Optional) You may also want a line for them to print their name.
- For Medical Staff to Complete – The medical personnel who administers the vaccine should indicate by name which vaccine was given. Leave space to indicate by checkbox where the vaccine was given on the body. Additionally they should print their name, add a signature, and the date and time.
- Space for Notes – This is literally a blank space with a couple of lines.
- Information Collection Statement – Include a brief statement about how the information is collected with permission from the local governing body.
Pro Tip: Flu vaccines are not required. However, according to the CDC, there are no legal requirements for informed consent regarding vaccines. For more information on vaccine consent, you can read about it here (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/laws/index.html#:~:text) on the CDC website. However, checking your current local and state laws is also a good idea.
What are the Pros and Cons of a Flu Vaccine
There are two sides to every vaccine. We’ve collected lists of the most common pros and cons when you get the flu vaccine below to help you understand whether it’s the right choice. If you have concerns, please discuss the flu shot with your doctor. They will be able to provide you with more information.
- Flu prevention is the most significant benefit.
- When you get a vaccine, you lower the risks. Especially for at-risk groups like pregnant women, the elderly, and the very young, a vaccine helps prevent hospitalization from more severe cases.
- If you get the flu, you will likely be much less sick and recover faster than you otherwise would.
- The flu vaccine helps promote community wellness. By not getting sick, you are helping all the people around you avoid the flu.
Pro Tip: The flu vaccine does not give you the flu.
- Not everyone should have a flu vaccine. Children under 6 months old, people with GBS (Guillain-Barre Syndrome), egg and mercury allergies, or allergies to any of the other ingredients are out of luck.
- Vaccines are highly effective but not perfect. Around 1-6% of people will not produce antibodies after getting the shot because their immune system works differently.
- There may be (minor) side effects. These include injection site swelling, discomfort, headaches, low-grade fever, and chills.
- You could still get the flu. Since it takes a couple of weeks for your body to respond, you are not instantly immune.
- Sometimes the strain of flu in your area is not a vaccine match. Because there are so many variants of the flu, the contents of your vaccine may not protect against the virus you get. Researchers must make a (highly educated) guess about which flu strains to use for the vaccines.
- Severe allergic reactions can occur. Those symptoms are typically difficulty breathing, feeling weak or dizzy, swelling around the eyes and mouth, rapid heartbeat, rash, hives, and wheezing.
Pro Tip: Flu vaccines do not cause other conditions. You will only have an allergy issue if you are allergic to the components, and while you may feel slightly under the weather for a while, that is normal as your body creates immune cells to fight the flu.
Both the public at large and medical practitioners have other questions about flu vaccines. We’ve answered the top three most frequently asked questions people needed more information about after searching for flu vaccine consent forms to help you.
Flu vaccines do require FDA approval, and they have it. When a new vaccine is in the testing phase, the FDA looks at all the data and assesses whether it is safe to distribute to people. Additionally, the FDA oversees the facilities and manufacturing to ensure that quality control and consistency standards are strictly adhered to.
You can decline a flu vaccine. For most citizens, flu vaccines are entirely voluntary. However, it is essential to understand that refusing to take a voluntary flu vaccine may exclude you from certain types of employment, which is your choice.
Most people cannot be forced to have a flu vaccine. However, if you want to work in a place where the employer requires it, then you must agree. That said, US military members are required to follow all lawful orders. This means the penalty for refusing a flu shot in the military can range from a letter of reprimand to a court martial. When you agree to join the armed forces or work in specific industries, you also agree to do what those employers find necessary for your health, safety, and those around you. This is not a violation of your rights any more than it would be a violation to tell you that you can’t ride a roller coaster without putting the safety bar down.
Federal law does not require flu vaccine consent forms, but your state laws and best practices may say otherwise. Regardless, providing patients with a flu vaccine consent form is an excellent way to help improve medical care and communication and foster trust within your patient population. Having flu shots can save individuals and communities from the worst parts of transmissible viruses, reducing the load on hospitals to free up beds for less preventable, more severe health concerns.