Dear Care Home Manager
In the coming days, weeks and months, the Government will expect you, your staff and all your residents to be vaccinated with an approved, but unlicensed, COVID-19 vaccine. Amid the rush of this urgent rollout, please remember all vaccines are pharmaceutical products that come with risks as well as benefits. So, it is a legal requirement to obtain fully informed consent from each person before they are injected with a COVID-19 vaccine.
What is ‘fully informed consent’?
A person is fully informed only if they have all the information that they would think relevant to their decision, given their circumstances and considering their age, health, underlying illnesses, etc. So, what’s relevant might vary from one individual to another.
How do I ensure my residents and staff are ‘fully informed’?
The UK Medical Freedom Alliance (UKMFA) is an alliance of medical professionals, scientists and lawyers who have drawn up a COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form to aid the process of full disclosure, including discussion of the risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccines. The form will assist you in considering and discussing what is relevant, given each person’s individual circumstances. It also outlines the legal framework that is in place to protect individuals from coercion and unlawful infringement of bodily autonomy.
You can download the UKMFA COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form here to print out for your staff to use, or to email out to your residents’ relatives, and/or their GPs.
You might also find useful the UKMFA Open Letter, which was sent on 23rd November to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and Matt Hancock. The letter outlined concerns over a rushed roll-out of an experimental vaccine using novel technology (mRNA vaccines), which has limited short-term safety data and NO long-term safety data. Additionally, there is no information about potential risks of interaction with other medication or prior vaccines. You can download the Open Letter here. Your residents’ relatives and their GPs might also appreciate a copy of this.
We advise that you must make your staff, your residents, AND residents’ relatives/next of kin aware of all the relevant information prior to them being offered a COVID-19 vaccine. We strongly recommend using the UKMFA COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form to enable you to do this to the best of your ability.
Where a resident lacks capacity to give fully informed consent: If the resident has made a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for health and welfare, you must contact their Attorney(s). The Attorney(s) must be given all the relevant information to help the person make a decision about vaccination; or, in some cases, make the decision for them in their best interests. Where there is no health and welfare LPA in place, this will be a ‘best interests’ decision, which must be made in consultation with next of kin, who should be provided all the relevant information,
including the COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form. If this ‘best interests’ process is not followed, relatives may seek an urgent decision from the Court of Protection on the matter, and the resident must NOT be vaccinated before the court has made its decision.
At this point in time, it is not certain whether there would be liability for your establishment in relation to adverse events that may result from a residents’ COVID-19 vaccination. Please note, however, there are concerns among certain Primary Care Networks over NHS England’s ‘Enhanced Service Specification’ for the rollout because, normally, the liability for an unlicensed vaccine would lie with the prescriber in the event of any serious adverse events.
Should you have any queries about the above, or the consent form, or other aspects of the COVID-19 vaccine, please feel free to contact and we will do our best to assist, or at least point you in the right direction for further information. For more information on medical freedom, visit: https://www.ukmedfreedom.org/.
Class Action Covid UK
Download letter here.
Download consent form here.