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TU Health Center 

05-01.01 – IMMUNIZATION POLICY

I.          Policy Statement:  Towson University enforces a mandatory pre-matriculation immunization requirement to reduce the incidence and risk of vaccine-preventable disease in the college community. 

II.        Reason for Policy:     This policy is consistent with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the American College Health Association's Recommendations for Institutional Pre-matriculation Immunizations

III.       Responsible Executive and Office: 

            Responsible Executive:  Vice President for Student Affairs

            Responsible Office:  Dowell Health Center

IV.       Entities Affected by this Policy:  All undergraduate and graduate degree and non-degree students, regardless of credit hours, taking courses on Towson’s main campus or any of its satellite facilities (Shady Grove, Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, HEAT, and Hagerstown) are covered under this policy.

Entities Exempted from this Policy:  Students taking courses online, overseas, at their place of employment if employment is off-campus, or at any of the city/county schools, are exempt from this policy.

V.        Procedures:

            A.        Immunization Requirements

1.         Measles, Mumps, Rubella Immunity

Two doses of MMR vaccine given at least 28 days apart and after 12 months of age. 

Acceptable alternative proof of immunity:  Positive antibody titer to measles, mumps, and rubella (must submit copy of titer results) OR birth date before 1957.  In the event of an outbreak, those born before 1957 may be required to show titer proof of immunity and, if negative titer, receive one dose MMR. 

2.         Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis Immunity

Students must have completed the childhood series (4 doses of DTaP*) and provide proof of a single dose of adult Tdap vaccine (Adacel or Boostrix) given at or after 11 years of age, regardless of the date of any prior Tetanus or Td** booster. A Td booster will be accepted in place of Tdap only if the pertussis component is medically contraindicated.

*DTaP is the vaccine given to children < 7 yrs of age to protect against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis. Tdap is the adult version of the same vaccine given to adolescents and adults 10 and over. The “a” in DTaP and Tdap stands for “acellular,” meaning that the pertussis component contains only a part of the pertussis organism.)
**Td is a tetanus-diphtheria vaccine given to adolescents and adults as a booster shot every 10 years

 

3.         Meningococcal Disease (Meningitis)

Who must comply:  In accordance with Maryland law, all students living in on-campus housing must be immunized against meningococcal disease or sign a waiver indicating they understand the risks of the disease and decline immunization.

Acceptable vaccine:  Quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (protects against 4 serogroups: A, C, Y, and W-135) given on/after age 16.*  Conjugate vaccine (Menactra, Menveo) preferred; Polysaccharide vaccine (Menomune) acceptable alternative if conjugate not available.
*If initial dose was given before age 16, booster dose with conjugate vaccine is needed to protect student during college years.

 4.         Tuberculosis Screening  

 Who must comply:  all international students on temporary visa status (regardless of prior BCG inoculation) and all students who have lived outside the U.S. or Canada for six months or longer.

 Acceptable TB screening:  PPD (Mantoux) intradermal skin test. Tine test not acceptable.  PPD must be completed at Towson University or by a U.S. healthcare provider within one year of entry to the University.

 If PPD is positive:  a negative chest x-ray, performed in the U.S. after the date of the positive PPD, must be documented.  A copy of the official report by a chest physician or radiologist is required as proof.

 5.         Polio

 Who must comply:  all international students from countries listed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as endemic for wild poliovirus (currently Afghanistan, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan).

Acceptable proof of immunity:  three doses IPV or OPV.  

            B.        Documentation

The Towson Health History/Immunization Form, available on the University website, must be completed and returned to the Health center prior to the student's first semester or summer session in attendance, along with any supportive documentation (chest x-ray report, titer results, etc.).  Copies of school immunization records or medical records documenting immunizations are acceptable.  Immunization records must be signed by a health care provider.


            C.        Exemptions from Immunization Requirements

1.         Medical exemptions are vaccine-specific and require verification by a healthcare provider of the medical contraindication to a specific vaccine(s).

2.         Religious exemptions require completion of a Request for Exemption on the basis of religious beliefs.  Form is available at the Dowell Health Center and must be notarized.

In the event of a disease outbreak, students exempted from immunization requirements may be requested by the University, at the direction of public health authorities, to show titer proof of immunity, become immunized, or remain off campus for the duration of the outbreak.

D.        Consequences of Non-compliance

 Students who fail to comply with the requirements in sections A. and B. above will be blocked from registration. If a temporary waiver is granted for one term, all requirements must be completed before early registration for the subsequent term or registration will be blocked.

Approval Date:    Approved by:  President’s Council  1/22/2007     

Effective Date: Fall 2007      

Amended Date: 04/12/2010

 

    


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