College Immunizations

Make sure you are up-to-date on all your vaccinations. Any student entering a public or private postsecondary educational institution in this state for the first time after July 1, 2008, shall, within forty-five days after the start of classes, present to the appropriate institution certification from a licensed physician that the student has received, or is in the process of receiving, the required two doses of immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). Additional vaccinations (or documentation of these vaccinations or laboratory proof of immunity) may be required for student admission to certain health profession programs. Immunizations for tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, varicella, and meningitis are recommended, as is a tuberculin test. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended, particularly for students living in residence halls, to minimize disruption of routine activities during influenza outbreaks.

Influenza (also called Respiratory Flu) is caused by influenza viruses and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get the flu. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days.

Symptoms vary by age but can include:

  • Fever/chills
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Pneumonia and blood infections, and cause diarrhea and seizures in children. Medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease can be worsened by the flu.

Flu is more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greatest risk.

Flu vaccines can prevent the flu or make it less severe, and prevent the spread of the flu to others.

HPV vaccine prevents infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) types that are associated with many cancers, including:

  • Cervical cancer in females.
  • Vaginal and vulvar cancers in females.
  • Anal cancer in females and males.
  • Throat cancer in females and males.
  • Penile cancer in males.

In addition, the HPV vaccine prevents infection with HPV types that cause genital warts in both females and males.

Measles, mumps, and rubella are serious diseases. Before vaccines, they were very common, especially among children.

Measles Signs & Symptoms:

  • Rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, fever.
  • Ear infection, pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring), brain damage, and death.

Mumps Signs & Symptoms:

  • Fever, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and swollen glands.
  • Deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and rarely sterility.

Rubella (German Measles) Signs & Symptoms:

  • Rash, arthritis (mostly in women), and mild fever.
  • Miscarriage Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine can protect children (and adults) from all three of these diseases.

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are very serious diseases. Tdap vaccine can provide protection against these diseases. And, TDAP vaccine given to pregnant women can protect newborn babies against pertussis.

Tetanus (Lockjaw) Signs & Symptoms:

  • Painful muscle tightening and stiffness, usually all over the body, tightening of muscles in the head and neck blocking the ability to open the mouth, swallow, or sometimes even breathe.

Pertussis Signs & Symptoms:

  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough) causes severe coughing spells, which can cause difficulty breathing, vomiting, and disturbed sleep.
  • Weight loss, incontinence, and rib fractures.
  • Pneumonia or death.

Diphtheria Signs & Symptoms:

Can cause a thick coating to form in the back of the throat.

Breathing problems, heart failure, paralysis, and death.

Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is spread from person to person through contact with the feces (stool) of people who are infected, which can easily happen if someone does not wash his or her hands properly. You can also get hepatitis A from food, water, or objects contaminated with HAV. Hepatitis A can cause liver failure and death.

Hepatitis A Signs & Symptoms:

  • Fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and/or joint pain
  • Severe stomach pains and diarrhea (mainly in children), or
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements).

The Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent Hepatitis A infection

Hepatitis B is a serious disease that affects the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B can cause mild illness lasting a few weeks, or it can lead to a serious, lifelong illness.

Hepatitis B Signs & Symptoms:

  • Fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and/or vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements)
  • Pain in muscles, joints, and stomach
  • Liver damage (cirrhosis)
  • Liver cancer
  • Death

The Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B and its consequences, including liver cancer and cirrhosis.

Meningococcal disease often occurs without warning — even among people who are otherwise healthy. Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but certain people are at increased risk, including:

  • Infants younger than one-year-old.
  • Adolescents and young adults 16 through 23 years old.
  • People with certain medical conditions that affect the immune system.
  • People at risk because of an outbreak in their community.

Meningitis Signs & Symptoms:

  • Fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, photophobia (increased sensitivity to light), and altered mental status (confusion).

Varicella (also called chickenpox) is a common childhood disease. It is usually mild, but it can be serious, especially in young infants and adults.

Chickenpox Signs & Symptoms:

  • Rash, itching, fever, and tiredness.
  • Severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, or death.
  • A person who has had chickenpox can get a painful rash called shingles years later.

Chickenpox vaccine can prevent chickenpox. Most people who get chickenpox vaccine will not get chickenpox. But if someone who has been vaccinated does get chickenpox, it is usually very mild. They will have fewer blisters, are less likely to have a fever, and will recover faster.