Nursing Home and Vaccination Consent: The Italian Perspective

Nursing Home and Vaccination Consent: The Italian Perspective
Nunzia Cannovo, Roberto Scendoni, Marzia Maria Fede, Federico Siotto, Piergiorgio Fedeli, Mariano Cingolani
Vaccines, 24 April 2021; 4(429)
Open Access
Abstract
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries have begun vaccination campaigns, with different methods and timelines, with the goal of vaccinating over 75% of the population and thus achieving herd immunity. Initially it was necessary to identity the categories of citizens who should be the first to receive the vaccines, on the basis of scientific evidence. On the basis of this information, elderly residents in nursing homes and the staff who care for them should be the highest priority subjects for vaccination. In this context, obtaining informed consent to Covid-19 vaccination presents a considerable challenge, as the advanced age and frequent comorbidities of a significant number of the residents may mean that they are incapable of expressing consent themselves. The legislation of various Western nations substantially agrees on the general principle that those capable of judgement must be asked for their consent for healthcare services, and that even those with psychological weaknesses that limit their full ability to decide must be involved in these decision-making processes. The article can help systematize the processes to be implemented to protect the health of individuals as members of a close and fragile community.

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