The Australian Immunisation Handbook 9th edition (1.3.3) provides valid consent must be given prior to a vaccine procedure and can only be given after the relevant potential risks and benefits have been fully disclosed.
For consent to be legally valid, the following elements must be present:
- It must be given by a person with legal capacity, and of sufficient intellectual capacity to understand the implications of being vaccinated.
- It must be given voluntarily.
- It can only be given after the relevant vaccine(s) and their potential risks and benefits have been explained to the individual.
- The individual must have sufficient opportunity to seek further details or explanations about the vaccine(s) and/or their administration.
Consent should be obtained before each vaccination, once it has been established that there are no medical conditions that contraindicate vaccination.
Consent on behalf of a child or adolescent
Should a child or adolescent refuse vaccinations for which a parent/guardian has given consent, the child’s wishes should be respected and the parent/guardian informed.
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