Paperwork To Expect With the COVID-19 Vaccine

consent form at home medical visit

bymuratdeniz / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • COVID vaccination sites distribute consent forms and fact sheets along with the vaccines.
  • If you have the healthcare proxy for someone with dementia, you may need to give consent for them to get the vaccine. 
  • Hold onto a copy of the form you sign. It contains information about the vaccine and may include the date you need to come back for a second dose. 

Expect to read and sign a form before you, or someone you’re a medical proxy for, gets a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccine providers are required to provide fact sheets to recipients of vaccines authorized under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)—which is the mechanism for authorization for the available COVID-19 vaccines.

While each provider will be creating its own fact sheet and form, you can expect the document you sign to request information similar to this one created by Inova Health of Fairfax, Virginia.

The fact sheets include details of the vaccines, like how effective they are and any known potential side effects—facts you’ve likely already heard about or read on the news. 

You’ll be given a copy of the fact sheet and form to hold onto, and you should. It will contain the date you got the vaccine, as well as the date you need to return for a second dose (if applicable). The form should also include the vaccine’s lot number, which is important in the rare case that a vaccine is recalled for any reason. 

What This Means For You

Expect your COVID-19 vaccine provider to ask you to read and sign a form indicating you understand the risks and benefits of the vaccine. 

To avoid delays when you get to the vaccination site, consider asking the provider—such as the pharmacy or doctor’s office—if they can send a copy of the fact sheet to you before your vaccination appointment. That way, you can read it through and consult with your own doctor (who may not be the one giving you the vaccine) if you have any questions or concerns.

If you have a relative in a long-term care facility, you may have to find if they’ve instated any policies for consent regarding COVID-19 vaccination, particularly if someone has dementia. Pharmacy partners administering the COVID-19 vaccine at long-term care facilities as part of the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program may require written, email, or verbal consent from recipients before vaccination, says Kristen Nordlund, a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She adds that it’s not a federal policy to obtain consent, but the vaccine providers may still require it. 

Administrators at the facility can ask their pharmacy partners to work with residents’ families to obtain consent in advance when they are serving as medical proxies, so that there’s no delay in an older person getting a vaccine. 

The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.

By Fran Kritz
Fran Kritz is a freelance healthcare reporter with a focus on consumer health and health policy. She is a former staff writer for Forbes Magazine and U.S. News and World Report.