Each year AFS participants receive immunizations while on an AFS program. These immunizations can be school-related or not (such as the influenza vaccine). AFS does not require an AFS specific consent form for any immunizations, including the COVID-19 vaccine and booster.
Should a participant both be eligible and request to receive a COVID-19 vaccine(s) or booster while on program, the participant should speak with their sending parent(s)/guardian(s) in their home country to obtain permission for the initial vaccine or booster. If the US healthcare facility requires parental/guardian permission the participant should arrange to obtain their sending parents’/guardians’ signatures for these form(s). AFS does not require special permission or a consent through the AFS organization.**
Like all other vaccines, these are considered "routine" and do not require AFS approval prior to receiving the vaccine while on program. However, it is critical that the participant's parent(s)/guardian(s) have given their consent.
The COVID-19 vaccine and booster, as with any other vaccine, is not covered under the Travel Medical Plan and any costs associated with obtaining the vaccine will also be the responsibility of the participant and the sending parent(s)/guardian(s). For ECA Sponsored Programs participants (CBYX, FLEX, and YES), if there is a cost involved in a participant receiving the COVID-19 vaccine while in the US, the cost will be covered by program funds.
You can find a COVID-19 Vaccination One-Pager with information for host families here.
** Please Note: ECA Sponsored Programs (CBYX, FLEX and YES) participants and their sending parents were required to sign a Department of State COVID-19 Vaccine Permission Consent document prior to program. The AFS liaison, Area Team Support Coordinator and host family will be notified, in advance, if a participant and their parents do not consent to a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have not been notified it means that AFS has consent on file and the participant can proceed with obtaining their parent(s) signatures for the healthcare facility specific form.