Student Immunization Policy

Policy Title Student Immunization Policy
Policy Category Public Safety and Environmental Health and Safety
Original Policy Approval Date October 24, 2018
Policies Superseded None
Responsible Office Provost
Related Policies None
Frequency of Review 3 Years
Date of Next Review October 24, 2021
Date of Revision  

I. Scope

This Student Immunization Policy ("Policy") applies to all incoming enrolled students including transfer, full-time, undergraduate, and graduate students of the University. 

II. Policy Statement

The University is strongly committed to the health, safety, and wellbeing of the campus community. Vaccine-preventable diseases pose a significant threat to the public health of the campus community. The purpose of this Policy is to provide adequate protection against vaccine-preventable diseases by requiring students to be vaccinated against and/or screened for certain highly contagious diseases. All students enrolled at the University, including students studying abroad through the College of Global Studies, are required to comply with this Policy. 

III. Policy

  • The University and Student Health Services (SHS) strongly support the use of vaccines to protect the health of individual students and the campus community and discourage the use of non-medical exemptions to required vaccines. The following requirements are consistent with Pennsylvania State Law and follow immunization guidelines from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American College Health Association (ACHA), and the Pennsylvania Department of Health for immunization compliance requirements. 

For the safety of our campus community, enrolling students must provide proper evidence of immunity by completing the applicable Undergraduate Student Health Record found on the SHS home page which verifies that the following immunizations have been obtained prior to completing registration. 

Students studying abroad with the College of Global Studies will be prompted to complete the appropriate verification during their enrollment process.


A. Required Immunizations
  • Hepatitis B
    • Three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine are needed for immunity. Doses 1 and 2 must be administered at least four weeks apart. Dose 3 should be at least six months after the first dose and eight weeks after the second dose. A blood test may be used to confirm immunity.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella
    • MMR #1 and #2: Two doses of Measles (Rubella); two doses of Mumps and one dose of Rubella; or two doses of the MMR vaccine; or results from a blood test showing immunity. Dose 1 must have been given on or after the student’s first birthday. Dose 2 must have been given at least four weeks after dose 1.
  • Meningococcal (for students in University-owned or operated housing)
    • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4): initial dose administered at age 11-12 with booster dose administered at age 16 or older is required of all incoming students living in University housing (Please also refer to Section IV below).
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
    • Two doses of varicella (chicken pox) vaccine are needed for immunity. The doses must be administered at least 28 days apart; or a blood test confirming immunity if a student has had the chicken pox disease.
  • Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (TdaP) (Within 10 years)
    • One dose of Tdap (tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis, (NOT to be confused with DTap or Td)) vaccine is needed for immunity. The Tdap vaccine booster is also needed if it is less than 10 years since the Tdap was administered.
  • Polio four dose series given during childhood at each of the following ages:
    • 2 months
    • 4 months
    • 6 through 18 months
    • (booster) 4 through 6 years
B. Recommended Vaccinations
  • Hepatitis A Vaccine (HepA)
    • Two dose series: HepA vaccine is a two-dose series given six-19 months apart. In some cases, Hep A and Hep B are given as a combined vaccine, which would necessitate that three doses are needed for immunity. 
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
    • Three dose series: Three different vaccines have been used in the U.S. [Cervarix (bivalent HPV vaccine), Gardasil (Quadrivalent HPV vaccine), Gardasil-9 (9-valent HPV vaccine)]; all three are given in a three-dose series and are needed for immunity.
  • Pneumococcal Vaccine
    • 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PVC13) or 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. Recommended for students with certain medical risk factors or high risk of pneumococcal disease.

 A physician must complete the certification section on the Student Health Record Form as proof of vaccination.

Personal Immunization Exception

Notwithstanding Section III above, if a student has a sincerely held religious, medical, or philosophical objection to being vaccinated, that student shall be exempted from the University’s immunization requirements and provided with detailed information on the risks associated with meningococcal disease and the availability and effectiveness of any vaccine. They must read, sign, and submit the University Immunization Waiver Form accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation, as required. Failure to receive the recommended vaccinations set forth in this Policy may increase the risk of such student contracting a preventable infectious disease.

V. University Housing

In accordance with Pennsylvania State law (PA Code Title 35 Health and Safety, Chapter 3D College and University Student Vaccination Act 633.3) the University is required to prohibit a student from residing in a dormitory or university-managed housing unit unless the student has received a one-time vaccination against meningococcal disease or has signed a waiver prior to moving into the dormitory or housing unit.

All students assigned University-owned or operated residential housing must:

  • review information about the risks of meningococcal disease and the availability and the effectiveness of the vaccination,
  • decide whether or not you will obtain the vaccination,
  • complete and submit the Undergraduate Student Health Record or
  • complete and submit the University Immunization Waiver Form.

VI. Noncompliance

In the interests of the safety of our campus community, if there is a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak on campus, non-immunized students may be excluded from the campus, classes, accommodations, and other activities at the University for the duration of the outbreak, which can last up to 21 days after the last case is detected at the University. Any affected students will be responsible for any costs associated with their exclusion from campus under these circumstances as well as any academic repercussions that might arise as a result of their absence.

If a student fails to submit a completed Undergraduate Student Health Record or signed University Immunization Waiver Form within the required time frame, SHS’s online medical system will place a hold on the student’s registration until all requirements are met. In the case of University housing, a student will not be permitted to move into, or will be removed from, housing unless vaccination against meningococcal disease has been proven or the University Immunization Waiver Form submitted.

VII. Additional Questions

Any questions regarding immunizations or this Policy should be referred to:

  • Student Health Services, Heinz Hall, Ground Floor
  • Phone: (215) 572-2966

VII. Additional Resources

Additional Resources for vaccine information:

  • Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  • American College Health Association (ACHA)

IX. Effective Date

This Policy is effective on the date that it is signed by the President.

X. Date of Approval

October 24, 2018.