05-01.01 – Immunization and TB Screening Policy
Towson University enforces a mandatory immunization and tuberculosis screening requirement to reduce the incidence and risk of vaccine-preventable and other communicable diseases in the campus community.
Reason for Policy:
To protect the health and safety of the campus community by reducing the incidence and risk of certain vaccine preventable and communicable diseases. 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, the American College Health Association's Recommendations for Institutional Pre-matriculation Immunizations and Maryland State law.
Responsible Executive and Office:
Vice President for Student Affairs
University Health Center
Entities Affected by this Policy
All undergraduate and graduate degree and non-degree students, regardless of credit hours, taking courses on Towson University's main campus or any of its satellite facilities (The Universities at Shady Grove, College of Southern Maryland, Waldorf Center, and Towson University in Northeast Maryland (TUNE)).
Entities Exempted from this Policy: Students taking courses exclusively online, at their place of employment if employment is off-campus, or at any location that is not a Towson University campus or satellite facility, are exempt from this policy.
Additional Requirements: The College of Health Professions and other University programs may have additional immunization and tuberculosis screening requirements
Measles, Mumps, Rubella Immunity
All students must comply with the immunization requirements, per section IV.
Acceptable proof of 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). Students born before 1957 are presumed immune. In the event of an outbreak concern, students born before 1957 may be required to show titer proof of immunity and, if negative titer, receive on dose of MMR. If born between 1957 and 1989, may be required to show proof of immunity or receive 2nd MMR (if not yet received) in the event of an outbreak concern.
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis Immunity
Who must comply? All students as per Section IV.
Acceptable vaccine: A single dose of adult Tdap (Tetanus-Diptheria-acellular-Pertussis) given after 5/2005*, regardless of interval since last Tetanus or Tetanus-Diptheria booster.
*Adult Tdap was not available before FDA licensure in 5/2005.
Acceptable alternative: None, unless a medical contraindication to the vaccine is documented by a healthcare provider.
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. Vaccination is strongly recommended for any student, regardless of living situation, and all students living in group housing (on or off campus) who wish to reduce their risk of meningococcal disease.
Meningitis vaccine must have been received no more than 3 years prior to living in on-campus housing (being that the vaccine is only effective for 3-5 years and must protect students for the duration of on-campus living).
Acceptable vaccine: Two doses of Quadrivalent conjugated meningococcal vaccine (Menactra or Menveo), protects against serogroups A, C, Y, and W-135, given within 3 years of entry to the University.
Tuberculosis (TB) Risk Screening and Testing
Tuberculosis (TB) Risk Screening
Who must comply? All students as per Section IV.
All students must complete a Tuberculosis Risk Screening Questionnaire to identify students who are at higher risk who require further testing.
Tuberculosis (TB) Testing
Who must comply: All international students on temporary visa status, including English Language Center (ELC) students, regardless of prior BCG inoculation and all students who have lived outside the U.S. or Canada for six months or longer who screen positive for TB risk must be cleared from active or latent infection if screening is positive. All other students who screen high risk must be tested for active TB disease.
Acceptable TB testing: All international students on temporary visa status, including English Language Center (ELC) students, regardless of prior BCG inoculation and all students who have lived outside the U.S. or Canada for six months or longer who screen positive for TB risk must have an IGRA blood test (Quantiferon Gold or T-Spot) either at the Health Center on arrival to campus or by a certified laboratory within the prior 6 months. Alternative testing may be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Health Center.
All domestic students who screen high risk for TB are required to have further TB testing and should contact the Health Center for specific recommendations.
Chest X-Ray: Required if skin test (TST) or IGRA test is positive. The X-Ray may be performed in a U.S. or non-domestic radiology facility. If X-ray was not performed in the U.S., a copy of the X Ray "film" and official X-Ray reading in English must be submitted with other immunization documentation. Access to campus may be restricted pending X-ray results.
If the X-Ray shows no sign of active TB and the student's symptom list is negative but the TB test was positive, the student will be referred to the Baltimore County Health Department to discuss treatment options for latent TB.
If X-Ray changes or signs and symptoms of active TB are found, the student will not be allowed to continue attending classes until additional testing and/or treatment is completed and the student is cleared by the local Health Department.
All students must provide a health record reflecting the required immunizations and dates. Students will access the Health Center’s secure web portal to complete the immunization and TB risk screening requirements. In addition, students must upload a copy of their health record.
Exemptions from Immunization Requirements
Medical exemptions are vaccine-specific and require verification by a healthcare provider of the medical contraindication to a specific vaccine(s).
Religious exemptions require completion of a Request for Exemption on the basis of religious beliefs. The form is available at the 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 or the University Health Officer, to show titer proof of immunity, become immunized, or remain off campus for the duration of the outbreak and cleared to return by the Health Center.
Consequences of Non-compliance
Students who fail to comply with the requirements of this policy by the start of the semester will have a hold placed on their account and will be blocked from registering for classes. This hold will also prevent renewal of on-campus housing.
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.
International students, including English Language Center (ELC) students who fail to comply with TB test requirements will not be allowed to attend class or live in on-campus housing until testing has been completed and the student is cleared by the Health Center.
Effective Date: 1/22/2007
Amended Date: 4/12/2010
Approved By: President's Council 1/22/2007
Signed By: President’s Council
How to Request the Policy PDF
This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, generalcounsel AT_TOWSON.