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Immunization Policy FAQs 2016

​​​Q: How do I get a record of the required immunizations?

A: You can download this ​Immunization Requirement Form and take it to your d​octors office, or you may be able to access your electronic medical record or other immunization record. It is essential that you get all the required information, have any blood tests or any vaccines you require BEFORE you submit your immunization record. You can only enter information on your electronic medical the record once before submitting.​

Q: How does UC determine which vaccines and screening to require?

A: The UC is following the recommendations of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Immunization Branch for Colleges and Universities found on the website at http://www.shotsforschool.org/college/. The current requirements reflect those in place on February 24, 2016. However, UC reserves the right to modify these requirements pending revisions to the recommendations by CDPH. Changes in CDPH's recommendations will be incorporated into the requirements affecting the incoming fall class each year. 

In general, these requirements pertain to those vaccine-preventable illnesses that can be spread by respiratory secretions (saliva, coughing, sneezing), and pose a risk to others who might become ill due to classroom or residential contact. These include, measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), pertussis (whooping cough), varicella (Chickenpox), and meningitis, as well as screening for tuberculosis. 

Q: Why is the UC implementing this policy?

A: There has been an increase in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses over the past five to ten years, and now many illnesses which we thought were disappearing are returning. Although many of these diseases are considered “mild”, they can cause serious illness and death. Pertussis was responsible for hospital stays for hundreds of people in California during the past two years, including intensive care admissions and in a few cases, death.  Recent outbreaks of measles also resulted in hospitalizations, and new cases of mumps across the country threaten the health and fertility of non-immune students.

Q: Why wasn't this done sooner?

A: The cost of vaccination was often a barrier to getting all the recommended immunizations. However, the Affordable Care Act has mandated that preventive services, such as vaccination, be covered at 100%--meaning that these services are now available to all. Another reason that UC did not pursue an immunization policy in past had to do with the time and cost for staff to gather, review and verify students' immunization records. However, now all of the campuses use the same system that enables students to enter their immunization history directly into their medical record. Each campus may verify some, or all, of these records by obtaining a copy of the yellow vaccination record, or another form of proof. However, we anticipate automating the verification process over the next several years, and thereby limiting additional staff time needed for this process.

Q: I was not vaccinated as a child. Will I not be admitted to UC until all of the vaccinations have been obtained?

A: No later than Fall 2017, all UC campuses will implement registration holds for students who have not documented completion, or who have not begun the process of completing, all of the required vaccines. Several campuses already implement registration holds if students have not met the tuberculosis screening requirement. However, there is variation on which campuses will be placing holds during the 2016 – 2017 academic year. Please check with your campus Student Health Service for information regarding the timeline for registration holds related to immunization requirements.

Q: What is the difference between required and recommended immunizations?

The required vaccines are vaccines you MUST have to comply with your registration.  These are adopted from the California Department of Public Health Immunization and Screening Recommendations for College Students February 9, 2016. The recommended vaccines are vaccinations that are strongly recommended for the prevention of communicable disease, and are recommended especially if you are likely to travel. The information is useful for your medical records here at the University.

Q: I/my family have concerns regarding the safety of vaccines and have chosen not to be vaccinated.  Will I be prevented from attending classes at UC if I do not obtain the required vaccines?

A:  During the initial phases of the Immunization Plan implementation, no registration holds will be placed. However, beginning fall of 2017, students who have not provided evidence of the required vaccinations will not be able to complete their final registration.

Q: I had an allergic reaction to a vaccination. Am I still required to be vaccinated to enter UC?

A: It is very important that the doctor/nurse practitioner/physician assistant who cared for you at that time, document what happened to you when you had the problem with vaccination. If you had a true “allergic reaction”, then we will need to know which vaccination caused the problem, and whether you were able to become immune to that illness. You will need to complete a Medical Exemption Request, and submit to your campus health center. If they deny your request for an exemption, you have a right to appeal their decision by a UC wide panel.  Read more about the Medical Exemption Policy​. 

Q: Is there a process to request a personal/religious belief exemption from the UC Immunization Plan?

A: The UC convened a task force over the summer of 2015, to examine what types of exemptions from the policy should be considered, and what the appropriate documentation and appeals process would be required. This work group included representatives from every campus, as well as a leading medical ethicist and representatives from the California Department of Public Health. The Task Force has recommended that only Medical Exemptions be allowed, but has created a process whereby students can appeal denials of their request through a group that includes three or more task force members, including at least one primary care provider and one infectious disease specialist. Students who have submitted appeals will be able to attend courses during the quarter/semester that their appeal is undergoing review.

Q: Will I be able to get the vaccines I need from the Student Health Center on my campus?

A: Yes, all of the campus Student Health Services stock and administer the required vaccinations. However, our expectation is that you receive these vaccines before starting at UC. Furthermore, most of the campuses are not able to bill insurance plans other than their respective Student Health Insurance Plans—which means you might need to pay out-of-pocket for these immunizations. Some campuses will charge you a fee for the administration of the vaccine as it is a pre-entry requirement. Check with your local campus Student Health Service.  If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must sign a Consent to Treat form before SHS may provide any services.

Q. When must I submit my online Immunization Record?

A: You can access your UCSD electronic medical record through MyApplication (for undergraduates) or GradApply (for graduates). You must enter your vaccine immunization information into your immunization record by July 15, 2016.

Q: How do I check on my immunization compliance status?

A: To review your Immunization Record, which will indicate whether you are compliant with requirements, please follow this link https://shs.ucsd.edu/Immunizations_home.aspx