Policy Number: 55
Student Immunizations and Health Records
I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT
All students registering at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") are required to furnish an immunization record signed by a health care provider.
A. Bacterial Meningitis
All entering students, as defined below, must show proof of vaccination against bacterial meningitis. The vaccination must have been administered within the five years of, and no later than ten days prior to, the first day of the semester.
For the purpose of the bacterial meningitis vaccine requirement only, “Entering Student” means any student admitted to the university on or after January 1, 2012 for the first time; including a transfer student from any other institution including another institution within The University of Texas System, a dual enrollment student, or a returning student who previously attended the University and who is re-enrolling on or after January 1, 2012 following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester. For purposes of this policy, the term entering student does not include:
- a student who is thirty (30) years of age or older on the first day of the semester;
- a student who is enrolled only in online or other distance education courses at the university.
- a student participating in a Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved Continuing Education Program or Course that consists of less than 360 contact hours; or
- an individual attending a continuing education program or course offered by the university that does not require approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
“Online or other distance education course” as used above means a course in which students receive web-based instruction or a correspondence course. A course that requires any face-to-face contact, such as meeting in a testing lab or for a special presentation, is not an “online or other distance education course.”
B. Other Immunizations
The following immunizations and screening tests are required for all students:.
- Tuberculin skin test or chest x-ray: one of these must be done within 12 months of registration;
- Measles: proof of two doses of measles vaccine administered on or after the first birthday and at least 30 days apart or proof of immunity;
- Mumps: proof of one dose of mumps vaccine administered on or after the first birthday or proof of immunity;
- Rubella: proof of one dose administered on or after the first birthday or proof of immunity;
- Tetanus/diphtheria: proof of one "booster" dose of tetanus/diphtheria (within 10 years);
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV): proof of serologic immunity to HBV or certification of immunization with a complete series of hepatitis B vaccine. Students will be required to present a letter or other suitable written certification; and
- Varicella (chickenpox): positive history of disease in the past. If no disease in the past, varicella titer is required. If varicella titer is negative, varicella vaccine series is required.
Anyone born prior to January 1, 1957 need only show proof of one measles vaccination or proof of immunity to all of the above.
Certain exemptions are allowed from required immunizations. These exemptions apply to an applicant for admission who submits to Student Health Services:
- an affidavit or certificate signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in the United States stating the physician's opinion that the required immunization would be injurious to the health or well-being of the applicant or any member of the applicant's household or family;
- an affidavit using an appropriate “Conscientious Exemption Form” that is signed by the student stating that the student declines to have the required vaccination based on reasons of conscience, which may include the student’s religious beliefs. This exemption will not be available, at the discretion of the university, during a disaster or public health emergency, hostile or paramilitary action, or extraordinary law enforcement emergency declared by an appropriate official or authority from the Texas Department of State Health Services. With regard to the bacterial meningitis vaccine, students living or residing in on-campus housing must use the form promulgated by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Students not living or residing in on-campus housing may use the form provided by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; or
- for vaccinations other than bacterial meningitis, proof that he or she is a member of the U.S. armed forces and is on active duty.
Individuals who have been offered admission to the university must assume the full cost of the immunizations prior to receiving student status.
E. Registration Hold
A hold is automatically placed on an applicant’s record at the time an application for admission is submitted. If admitted to the university, this hold will block registration. Student Health Services will release all immunization holds after proof of immunizations is satisfied. Student Health Services may place a hold on a student’s record at any time if a student fails to comply with the requirements of this policy.
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