Immunization Policy-Student Affairs - Carnegie Mellon University

Immunization Policy

The official policy can be found at http://cmu.edu/policies/documents/Immunize.htm.

Reason for Policy

Vaccine-preventable diseases continue to occur on American campuses and pose a significant threat to the public health of the campus community. Outbreaks not only impose a significant cost to infected individuals in terms of mortality and morbidity but also can be costly to the university by disrupting university activities.

Policy Statement

The goal of University Health Services (UHS) and the university is to provide adequate protection of the campus community against vaccine-preventable diseases by requiring students to be vaccinated against and/or screened for certain highly contagious diseases. This goal can best be achieved through a mandatory prematriculation immunization requirement. The following requirements are consistent with Pennsylvania State Law and with the recommendations of the American College Health Association and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Requirements for All Full-Time Students

All entering full-time students born after 1956 must demonstrate proof of immunity against measles, mumps and rubella by either providing dates of inoculation of two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, providing blood titers that demonstrate immunity to these infections or providing documentation from a health care provider of having had the infection.

Additional Requirements for Students Residing in University Housing

All students residing in university housing must demonstrate immunity against Hepatitis B by providing documentation of having initiated or completed the three dose vaccination series. The student is expected to complete the series within six months of initiation of the series. All students residing in university housing must provide documentation of having been vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis.

Additional Requirements for International Students

All full-time international students must provide documentation of having had a PPD skin test or a blood test (IGRA) to screen for tuberculosis within six months prior to arrival on campus regardless of prior BCG inoculation. If the result of the skin test  or blood work is positive, a chest x-ray is required.

Request for Waiver

A student may request a waiver from any vaccination for medical reasons or if vaccination conflicts with personal or religious beliefs. Application for waiver is to be made in writing to UHS prior to arrival on campus. In the case of an outbreak of a contagious disease on campus for which the student has not been immunized, the university reserves the right to ask the student to leave campus until the outbreak is over. A student may request a waiver from tuberculosis testing if the student is from a country that has been identified by the Centers for Disease Control as having low prevalence of tuberculosis.

Penalty for Noncompliance

If the student fails to comply with the immunization policy, the UHS will notify Enrollment Services who will place a hold on the student’s registration until the requirements are met and assess a fee of no more than $50 to the student’s account. 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.

Additional Recommendations

A PPD skin test for tuberculosis is recommended for domestic students who have traveled to an area where tuberculosis is endemic. All students should have a booster dose of tetanus/diptheria every ten years after completion of the primary series with one booster being Adacel (Tdap) for added protection against Pertusis.

Contact

Questions should be directed to University Health Services, 412-268-2157.

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 & Safety, 412-268-8182.