Consent process for vaccination

The information below has been provided for you to discuss with your patients to enable them to make an informed decision about vaccination.

Vaccination will protect you and your child from a range of infectious diseases.

It is important that you alert your doctor or nurse of any existing or past medical conditions that you or your child have experienced which may affect your decision to proceed with vaccination today.

Please inform your doctor or nurse if the person to be vaccinated:

  • is unwell today
  • has a disease which lowers immunity, for example:
    • leukaemia
    • cancer
    • HIV/AIDS
  • is having treatment which lowers immunity, for example:
    • oral steroid medicines such as cortisone and prednisone
    •  radiotherapy
    • chemotherapy
  • has had a severe reaction following any vaccine
  • has any severe allergies to anything
  • has had any vaccine in the past month, for example:
    • MMR
    • Varicella vaccine
  • has had an injection of immunoglobulin, or received any blood products or a whole blood transfusion within the past year
  • is pregnant
  • has a past history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome
  • was a preterm infant
  • has a chronic illness
  • has a bleeding disorder.

Contraindications

There are only 2 absolute contraindications applicable to all vaccines:

  1. anaphylaxis following a previous dose of any vaccine
  2. anaphylaxis following any component of the relevant vaccine.

A different vaccine schedule may be recommended if the person to be vaccinated:

  • identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • does not have a functioning spleen
  • is planning a pregnancy or is pregnant
  • is a parent, grandparent or carer of a newborn
  • lives with someone who has a disease which lowers immunity, for example:
    • leukaemia
    • cancer
    • HIV/AID
  • lives with someone who is having treatment which lowers immunity, for example:
    • oral steroid medicines such as cortisone and prednisone
    • radiotherapy
    • chemotherapy.

Note: Ask your doctor or nurse questions about this information, or any other matter relating to vaccination, to ensure that you understand before any vaccines are to you given or your child.

What information do you need?

Information you should obtain from your immunisation service provider includes:

  • What vaccines will you or your child receive today?
  • How to manage a reaction following immunisation.
  • What are the common reactions?
  • Who to contact in the event of a reaction?
  • The method of reporting an adverse event following immunisation.

Reactions to a vaccine

Signs of a sudden severe reaction that usually occurs within the first 10-15 minutes and may require medical intervention include:

  • sudden hives or rashes
  • swollen lips or eyes
  • difficulty with breathing or noisy breathing
  • becoming very pale and limp
  • losing consciousness

If any of these symptoms occur, either notify the reception staff or return to the treatment area and seek out the nurse or doctor who will assess the reaction and provide treatment accordingly.

Please remain in the centre for 15 minutes following vaccination to ensure that you or your child has not experienced any severe reaction which in most instances occurs within the first few minutes following immunisation.

Monitoring your or your child’s health following vaccination

  • All the common reactions or side effects are usually mild and short in duration and treatment is not usually required.
  • The nurse or doctor will provide you with a vaccination fact sheet listing expected reactions.
  • If the reactions are severe or persistent, or if you are worried about yourself or your child’s condition following vaccination you can choose one of the following options:
    • contact your doctor or the practice nurse
    • contact the Central Immunisation Clinic (08) 9321 1312 (8.30-4.30pm) or after hours,
    • contact healthdirect Australia 1800 022 222 (24 hours) or
    • go to your nearest emergency department.

Information about the vaccine administered today will be documented in your immunisation card and should be kept for future reference.

You will also be provided with an information sheet which will assist you to manage any common side effects that you, or your child, experience from your vaccine today.

Adverse event following immunisation

The WA Department of Health has system that allows both health professionals and members of the public to report any reactions following vaccination.

Please report an adverse event following immunisation by one of the following methods:

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Public Health