Consent process for COVID-19 vaccination
The Australian Government has started to roll out the first phase (Phase 1a) of its national roll-out strategy, with priority being given to support workers and residents in aged care and disability residential accommodation. Informed consent must be sought and recorded for all adults suitable to receive the vaccine.
Service providers are responsible for facilitating consent for adults who do not have the decision-making capacity to provide it themselves, and the information below outlines the process for getting this consent from OPG.
If the Public Guardian has been appointed as decision-maker for health care matters or all personal matters, OPG is able to provide consent for the vaccination. Before OPG can provide consent we will need the following information, so if you can obtain this ahead of time it will make the decision-making process more efficient:
- The full name, date of birth and address for the adult
- When the adult will be receiving the COVID-19 vaccination (provide exact date, or estimated time frame if unknown)
- Whether the adult has had the opportunity to provide their views
- Whether the adult is objecting to the COVID-19 vaccination, or detail on any other views the adult has provided
- Whether the adult’s primary health care provider has determined that the adult lacks decision-making capacity to consent to the COVID-19 vaccination themselves
- Whether the adult’s primary health care provider has confirmed that the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the risks to the adult
- Whether the adult’s primary health care provider is supportive of the adult receiving the COVID-19 vaccination
Consent will generally be provided via email rather than by a delegate guardian signing the consent form (service providers are able to note in the consent section of the form that consent has been provided by OPG). However if you do provide OPG with a COVID-19 consent form, ensure all relevant health information requested on the form has been provided by the primary health care provider.
Consent process where the Public Guardian is not guardian for health care matters.
If an adult doesn’t have an appointed guardian for health care matters or an attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney and the primary health care provider believes the adult doesn’t have the capacity to consent to the vaccination, consent can be provided by the adult’s statutory health attorney. This is generally a close friend or family member of the adult, but where there is no one else willing or available to act in this role the Public Guardian can act as statutory health attorney of last resort.
What if the adult doesn’t want the vaccination?
The vaccine is optional for all Australians, so if an adult is expressing that they don’t want to receive it we will generally respect their wishes and not give our consent.
To request a consent for a COVID-19 vaccination for an adult in your care, please contact the delegate guardian directly, call us on 1300 753 624 between 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.