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Editorís Notes

POLICY TITLE: Carnegie Mellon University Student Immunization Policy

DATE OF ISSUANCE: This policy was approved by the Presidentís Council on March 5, 2014.

ACCOUNTABLE DEPARTMENT/UNIT:Office of the Vice President for Campus Affairs.Questions on policy content should be directed to Student Health Services, ext. 8-2157.




Policy Rationale


The university values personal and community health and recognizes the critical role that each individual plays in contributing to community health by participating in personal health care practices that prevent the spread of contagious diseases. Participation in a vaccination program represents one such highly effective personal health practice.

Vaccine-preventable diseases pose a significant threat to the public health of the campus community, impose a significant cost to infected individuals in terms of mortality and morbidity and impose a cost to other community members by disrupting university life and academic activities.Therefore, the university expects that all individuals will value the importance of protecting themselves and others by obtaining vaccinations against vaccine-preventable diseases and acknowledges the institutionís role in supporting public health by monitoring the vaccination status of incoming students through its policy on immunization requirements.


Policy Statement


The goal of the university is to provide adequate protection of the campus community against vaccine-preventable diseases. This goal can best be achieved through a prematriculation immunization requirement that is administered by University Health Services (UHS).All students are required to comply with the immunization requirements and the screening protocol for tuberculosis.


Implementation Guidelines


Immunization Requirements for Students


         Required vaccinations shall be determined by UHS ( and shall be consistent with Pennsylvania State Law and informed by the recommendations of the American College Health Association and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

         Vaccination requirements will be reviewed annually by UHS.Any changes in the requirements effective in the upcoming school year will be communicated to incoming students and the university community in the spring term prior to implementation that fall.

         Application or modification of this policy for non-Pittsburgh locations will be determined by the Director of University Health Services, in consultation with relevant colleagues in those locations.


Additional Requirements for Students Residing in University Housing


         Because vaccine preventable diseases spread more readily in a residential environment, UHS may set additional requirements for students who elect to live in university housing.


Request for Waiver


         A student may request a waiver from any vaccination for medical reasons or if vaccination conflicts with personal or religious beliefs by contacting UHS.If an outbreak of contagious disease occurs, the university reserves the right to ask students who have not been vaccinated against that disease to leave campus until the outbreak is over.


Screening Protocol for Tuberculosis


         Students with an increased risk of exposure to tuberculosis are expected to comply with screening requirements as set forth by UHS and informed by recommendations of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control.


Penalty for Noncompliance


         If a student fails to comply with the immunization policy, UHS will notify the University Registrar who will change the studentís enrollment status to reflect that the student is not enrolled until the requirements are met. 


         Additionally, if the student is a resident in university housing and fails to comply with the immunization requirements, he/she will be removed from housing. A fee may be assessed by Housing for reactivation of the room key if the student later complies with the policy.




Related references and resources can be found on the UHS website. Questions should be directed to University Health Services, ext. 8-2157.


Related Policies and Procedures


The university complies with OSHA regulations regarding occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens.Questions regarding these regulations should be directed to Environmental Health and Safety, 8-8182.