Vaccination needs parental consent

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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The Tupua Tamasese Meaola Hospital at Motootua.

The Tupua Tamasese Meaola Hospital at Motootua. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

There should be a consent form signed by parents when their child is brought in for the administration of vaccination at six weeks old.

This was revealed in the submission made by the National Health Services General Manager, Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toleupe yesterday morning.           

“The consent to the immunisation programme is given to parents during their child’s six weeks injection,” said Palanitina.

“Parents are asked to read and sign the consent form before the first vaccination is administered at six weeks."

“That consent is then used for vaccination right up to M.M.R. 2 vaccination. However, prior to administering the vaccine, parents are asked if they consent."

“Moreover, consent for vaccines administered in schools is given to schools and districts and collected prior to the arrival of the Ministry’s E.P.I. team with the vaccine.”

During the cross examination, Tafailagi Peniamina of the Attorney General’s Office questioned the heath sector on how the consent form is done.

“I understand from the submission that when the child is brought in for the six weeks injection that’s when the consent form is given to the parents and they will sign it and that consent form will be used for all the remaining injections,” said Tafailagi.

“In terms of the consent form itself, can you clarify who keeps the consent form and if a copy of the consent form is provided to the parents of the child.”

In response, the Health sector’s Expanded Programme Immunization Coordinator, Fuapepe Iese Manuleleua said a child should have two consent forms signed by the parents. 

“When the child comes in for a six weeks vaccination, the parents will be given a consent form and that consent form is attached to the child’s records that the nurses keep,” Fuapepe said.

“So the parents signed for the first time and that consent form is used for all the other vaccinations that follow."

“However, when the child is 15 months to five years old, another consent form is given to the parents to sign and they will have to return it to the school so that our team will collect it and confirm whether the parents agree or not.”

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