Vaccines have been a hot-button issue for a while, but regardless of how you feel about them, people have to sign their consent to receive them or have their children get them. Sometimes a consent form isn’t completely obvious because it fails to state clearly that this is what you are signing. Fortunately, if you work anywhere that gives vaccines, this is easy to fix. This article will teach you everything you need to know to create a unique, professional vaccine consent form for your business. We recommend starting with a pre-formatted template to ensure you get all the correct data and include the necessary elements.
Many European countries have introduced or proposed mandatory vaccines, but they are still optional in the US. That said, schoolchildren are often required to show proof of vaccines as a part of their enrollment process. Likewise, you may discover that there are places in the world you cannot travel without specific vaccines to prevent you, or the people there, from getting ill. As a vaccine provider, informed consent is doubly important in the modern era, especially for people who may face issues like school enrollment and travel restrictions.
What Is a Vaccine Consent Form?
A vaccine consent form is a legal document that a patient or their parents or guardians sign prior to being inoculated. This necessary document shows that the consenting party is aware of which vaccine(s) they will receive, their obligations, such as waiting fifteen minutes before leaving, and any risks, benefits, and side effects that may occur. Informed consent is vital for any medical procedure, even one as simple as a checkup or getting your shots, and vaccine consent forms prove that the medical staff administering the treatment did so with the permission of the recipient.
Why is Vaccine Consent Form Important?
Vaccine consent forms serve several purposes. We’ve outlined the most important reasons why a vaccine consent form is important on the list below.
- All medical treatments legally require informed consent.
- Vaccine consent forms are part of the necessary documentation chain and can help with emergency contacts, tracing, and even keeping track of side effects.
- Performing a medical treatment absent consent, except in an extreme emergency where the patient cannot give consent because they are dying, comatose, or otherwise incapacitated, is considered battery.
- Patients who did not consent can have medical practitioners charged with battery in court.
- Vaccine consent forms can help patients prove they received a dose of a vaccine.
- Having a signed consent form proves that the patient did indeed give their consent.
- While you can rescind medical consent at any time, you cannot rescind it for treatments that have already been administered.
- A vaccine consent form shows that the recipient was informed in advance of the risks, side effects, and benefits.
What are the Risks and Benefits of Vaccines
Even something as helpful as a vaccine has two sides. Risks and benefits are associated with every vaccine, and while some are specific to the particular inoculation, many of these are universal. Below we’ve included a short list of vaccines’ common risks and benefits.
- Overconfidence- Being vaccinated doesn’t make you completely safe; it only helps minimize risk.
- Failure Rates- Anywhere from 1 to 10% of recipients will not produce enough antibodies after receiving a vaccine. This is due to individual biology.
- Minor Irritation and Pain- The injection site can become itchy, swollen, painful, or even bleed a small amount. This is normal and not something to be concerned about.
- Infection- We put bandages over vaccine sites for a good reason. It keeps out germs and dirt that can cause an infection in any wound, no matter how small.
- Protesters- Some vaccinated individuals face harassment and derision from protesters.
- Side Effects- Some people experience mild illness after receiving a vaccine.
- Allergies- Although rare, some people are allergic to some of the ingredients in some vaccines.
Pro Tip: Please note that vaccines do not make you magnetic, poison you, cause autism or allow the government to control your mind. These rumors are nothing but overhyped conspiracy theories.
The benefits of vaccines cannot be overstated. They can prevent debilitating illness and even death. Moreover, vaccines reduce the risk and severity of many viruses like the Flu and Covid. Additionally, getting your shots helps reduce transmission to other people, especially babies, immunocompromised people, and the elderly. In short, vaccinating can save your health and life or those around you.
Essential Elements of a Vaccine Consent Form
A clear, concise, and professional vaccine consent form is part of your necessary documentation. Below we’ve provided an outline for everything you should include on the page in the general order you see it. You can always modify these categories or add more as you see fit. However, this template list should contain all the essential elements of a vaccine consent form.
- (Optional but recommended) Business Logo
- Title- A clear title, in large print, stating that this is a vaccine consent form
- Business Identification- Hospital, pharmacy, or clinic identification information
- RPh/Tech name
- Phone or Fax date and time
- Registry date
- Clinic Information
- Patient Info- Patient Name, DOB, sex (if applicable), and contact information
- Patient Physician Info- This includes their PCP with contact information, Insurance carrier, card, and group number.
- Requested Protections- This should include a series of checkboxes that show which vaccines the patient wants. It should say ‘I want to be protected from” and then offer a list of checkboxes and items such as Measles, Rubella, Shingles, Pneumonia, and other potential diseases for which your site offers vaccinations.
- Medical Questions for All Vaccines- These include long-term health problems, vaccines already received in the last 28 days, allergies, seizures, previous vaccines, and current fevers or illnesses.
- Medical Questions for AFAB People (commonly called women)- Ask if they are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to become so in the next 30-45 days.
- Medical Questions for Live Vaccines- You need to ask if the patient has had recent blood transfusions, cancer, leukemia, immunosuppressants, and other relevant conditions, illnesses, or risks.
- Patient Declaration- This section may be presented as a paragraph or a checklist of items the patient must do, hear or understand before they sign their consent.
- Signature- Name, date, and signature lines belong at the bottom of the patient declaration. Leave a line for parental consent in the case of minors.
- (Optional but Recommended) Interpreter Declaration- If the patient has or requires an interpreter, there should also be a space for them to sign.
- Immunizer Responsibility- Statement with a checkbox showing that the immunizer told the patient to wait 10 to 15 minutes before departing.
- Vaccine Information- This section needs space for the name, manufacturer, series, lot number, dosage, and other vital vaccine records.
- Supervising RPh- Name, signature, and/or license number
- Immunizer Info- Name, license type, signature, date, and time.
Pro Tip: It is important to stay up-to-date on industry standards and requirements in your area. If you are uncertain about some elements here or others you may need to add, always check with a professional oversight body to ensure you have the current, correct information.
Tips for Better Vaccine Consent Forms
The following tips will help you create a complete consent form for your vaccine patients.
- Use a large, clear typeface so patients can easily read the document.
- If you use medical terms, explain what each term means in practical, 8th-grade reading-level terms rather than assuming the patient will understand them.
- Record the part of the session where you have verbal discussions and answer questions so you can always prove that you provided clear answers to their concerns and queries.
- Check ID to ensure everyone is who they say they are and of age to sign a consent form.
- Always ask about relevant allergies.
- If you are doing intake one day and scheduling for shots later, ask if the patient needs any accommodations, such as space for a wheelchair.
- Unless you work at a strictly pediatric center, avoid using colorful documents as they may appear unprofessional.
People who inquire about vaccine consent forms often have other questions as well. Below we’ve answered the top frequently asked questions people who searched for this information inquired about.
You can rescind any form of medical consent, including vaccine consent forms. However, you must do so before you receive the treatment. While it is not typically advisable, it is within your rights to refuse future inoculations if that is what you choose. All consent forms have terms for removing permission. For some, it is a one-time permission, and for others, the consent is active until you submit a form in writing to remove that permission. If you are uncertain which one applies, ask or simply submit a written retraction.
Vaccines have an incredibly high efficacy rate but don’t always work. Some people’s immune systems cannot respond properly, so they do not produce enough antibodies despite being inoculated. If you are concerned about whether your vaccine is effective, consult with your doctor. They may have access to testing and equipment to check how your system is responding.
Vaccines do not necessarily completely prevent infection. However, they do usually reduce the duration and severity of illness and significantly cut down on body-to-body transmission. That said, vaccines also completely prevent infection in some patients, and having a vaccine is more effective than not.
Feeling a little sick or ‘under the weather’ after a vaccine is a normal reaction. Although the vaccine does not contain active viruses, your body is working overtime to learn how to prevent the infection, which can cause some people a sense of unwellness. Additionally, some individuals react adversely to the stress of vaccination, and it’s possible to be allergic to one or more ingredients in your shot. Overall, you shouldn’t be concerned about feeling sick after a vaccine, but if the symptoms persist or are more severe than usual, you may want to make an appointment to see your primary care doctor.
Vaccine consent forms have always been important, but they are more necessary than ever due to confusion about vaccine safety and efficacy. Medical personnel administering this treatment form should be extra cautious and scrupulous about ensuring every patient understands and voluntarily signs their consent forms. Provide complete information and answer all questions they have completely. Doing this helps foster trust and public education. Moreover, a well-written, easy-to-understand consent form protects you from potential litigation. Our professionally pre-formatted, refillable, and customizable templates can help reduce wasted time and streamline the vaccination process.