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The Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA) has released a brief guidance for community pharmacies to ensure that necessary consent is obtained from the person prior to administering the Covid-19 vaccination.

The association’s guidance came as the process of granting consent is of paramount importance, as to do so without would be technically classified as an assault.

“As stated in the Covid-19 standard operating procedures, there is no legal requirement for consent to immunisation to be in writing and a signature on a consent form is not conclusive proof that consent has been given, but serves to record the decision and the discussions that have taken place with the patient or the person giving consent on a child’s behalf,” the PDA pointed out.

As consent for Covid-19 vaccination plays a major role in the vaccination drive, the PDA therefore compiled a brief guide to assist community pharmacists with ensuring that suitable consent is obtained prior to administering the virus jabs…

  1. Time: Allow the patient time to think and consider whether they wish to proceed with the procedure. If for any reason they cannot have the vaccination on a given day, if possible, give them the opportunity to attend an appointment at a later date.
  2. History taking: Be sure to take as full a patient medical and social history as is required to ensure any material risks to the patient are identified. Ensure all questions are fully completed and clarify any unclear answers, to allow consideration of an alternative vaccination should the Summary of Product Characteristics for a particular one list an absolute contraindication.
  3. Record keeping: All documentation must be fully completed and any discrepancies clarified before commencing with the vaccination. Any omitted data can potentially lead to adverse outcomes for patients so full record-keeping is of paramount importance. For example, it is vital that information is gathered as to whether a patient has had any other vaccinations in the 7 days prior to receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, as this would preclude them from receiving it at the first instance.
  4. Patient information leaflets: Must be provided post-vaccination, along with post-vaccination record cards. The purpose of patient information leaflets is to make patients aware of any possible side effects they may experience and to give them an additional understanding of what they are being vaccinated with. The leaflets also contain key information to remind patients on steps to take for effective aftercare.

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