Each year, thousands of preventable deaths and hospitalizations result from complications of influenza and pneumococcal disease, mostly in elderly persons, despite the availability of vaccines. Obtaining signed consent prior to administering the vaccines represents an obstacle to achieving the Healthy People 2010 goals for vaccinating individuals against influenza and pneumococcal disease. Signed consent is neither legally mandated nor a guarantee that the patient (or proxy) has given informed consent. Nonetheless, many health care providers and institutions currently require signed consent before administering these vaccines. Rather, health care providers should use the Vaccine Information Sheets developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to inform patients about the risks and benefits associated with these vaccines. Requiring signed consent before administering these low-risk, high-benefit vaccines is inconsistent with the current practice of not requiring signed consent before prescribing other common treatments, eg, antibiotic treatment, whose risk levels are the same or higher.
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Users' Guides to the Medical Literature
The Rational Clinical Examination
Make the Diagnosis: Influenza
All results at
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.