ABSTRACT: To identify and describe implementation of state-level informed consent requirements for adolescent immunizations, current state regulations on informed consent and immunization services for children and adolescents were identified through the LEXIS-NEXIS® legal data base. Regulations were coded for informed consent characteristics, consent exemptions, and current immunization requirements. State immunization program directors, project managers, and state hepatitis coordinators were surveyed to catalogue how regulations were implemented and document new policies or regulations under consideration.
Parental consent for immunizations is standard practice in 43 states. Most states (n=34) require separate consent for each injection when more than one injection is required to complete a vaccination, but only for a limited number of medical procedures. Nine states allow adolescents to self-consent for hepatitis B vaccination in sexually transmitted disease clinics and family planning clinics as part of the exemption for minors' receipt of sexual health services.
Most states require consent for vaccination services provided to adolescents. Parental consent requirements are a potential barrier to vaccinating adolescents in some settings.