Certain immunizations are necessary for students to be protected while at college. Students should check their immunization histories and update any needed vaccines. All students should carry their immunization records with them while at college since they may need to show proof of immunization. See below for more information about recommended vaccinations and how to obtain them if needed.
Wisconsin colleges and universities are required by state statute to provide all enrolled students each year detailed information about Meningococcal disease and Hepatitis B and the availability and effectiveness of vaccines against these diseases. (See below for this information.) Colleges and universities must also ensure that each student living in a residence hall affirms that he or she has received this information, and if the student has been vaccinated against either disease, provides the date(s) of vaccination(s).
For Students Living in Residence Halls
Please see the detailed information about Meningococcal disease and Hepatitis B and the availability and effectiveness of vaccines against these diseases below, as well as information about the local availability and cost of these vaccinations.
If you have not received these vaccinations, you are strongly urged to have them. If you need the dates of any vaccinations that you have received, you will need to contact the agency that administered the vaccine(s). If you receive either vaccine after the housing contract process, it is not necessary to submit the dates, but you should keep the dates for your own records. THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT YOU RECEIVE THESE VACCINATIONS.
Vaccines recommended for ALL college students by the American College Health Association (ACHA):
All of the following vaccines are available at the Douglas County Public Health Department. Douglas County Public Health offers most pertinent vaccines free or at reduced cost (715/395-1304). Call for appointments for vaccines. UWS students will be responsible for the full cost of vaccines received.
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) - 2 doses after the 1st birthday and at least 28 days apart (if born after 1956).
- Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis - Tetanus booster needed every ten years (after childhood primary series). One of these doses should be Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertusis)
- Tdap can be administered regardless of interval since the last tetanus/diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine (Td). According to current recommendations, Tdap is given only once, so subsequent tetanus boosters will be Td.
- Varicella (Chickenpox) - 2 shot series at least 1 month apart. Students may want to consider this vaccine if they have never had the chickenpox.
- Hepatitis B - 3 shot series over 6 to 12 months.
- Meningococcal - Recommended for students living in the residence halls or other college students who wish to reduce their risk. Initial or booster dose of conjugate vaccine on or after age 16.
- Influenza - annually to avoid disruption to academic activities.
- Polio - childhood primary series. Booster for some foreign travel.
- Hepatitis A - Given as a series of 2 doses over 6 to 12 months. Recommended for routine use in all adolescents through the age of 18 and in particular for adolescent and adult high-risk groups (i.e., persons traveling to countries where Hepatitis A is moderately or highly endemic, men who have sex with men, users of injectable and noninjectable drugs, persons who have clotting factor disorders, persons working with nonhuman primates, and persons with chronic liver disease).
- Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) - All college students up to 26 years old who have not received the vaccine (three doses over a 6 month period). No HPV or pap test screening is required prior to receiving vaccine; however, routine cervical cancer screening should continue according to prior recommendations.
Meningococcal Disease and Vaccine
From the American College Health Association:
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all incoming college freshmen living in dormitories be vaccinated against Meningococcal disease.
The American College Health Association (ACHA) recommends receiving this vaccine if students are living in the residence halls and for those who wish to reduce their risk for the disease. Initial or booster dose of conjugate vaccine on or after age 16.
ACHA and ACIP recommendations, coupled with the availability of new vaccines that may provide longer duration of protection, will help increase rates of immunization against Meningococcal disease and will give college health professionals the guidance needed to help protect college students against Meningococcal disease.
The conjugated meningococcal vaccine has the potential to provide longer duration of protection than the polysaccharide Meningococcal vaccine against four of the five strains (or types) of bacteria that cause meningococcal disease – types A, C, Y, and W-135.
What is Meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal Disease is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection that can lead to Meningococcal Meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, or Meningococcal Septicemia, an infection of the blood.
Meningococcal disease, caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis, is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in older children and young adults in the United States. It strikes 1,400 to 3,000 Americans each year and is responsible for approximately 150 to 300 deaths.
Adolescents and young adults account for nearly 30 percent of all cases of meningitis in the United States. In addition, approximately 100 to 125 cases of Meningococcal disease occur on college campuses each year, and five to 15 students will die as a result. Evidence shows approximately 70 to 80 percent of cases in the college age group are caused by serogroup C, Y, or W-135, which are potentially vaccine-preventable.
Due to lifestyle factors, such as crowded living situations, bar patronage, active or passive smoking, irregular sleep patterns, and sharing of personal items, college students living in residence halls are more likely to acquire meningococcal disease than the general college population.
Meningococcal infection is contagious, and progresses very rapidly. It can easily be misdiagnosed as the flu, and, if not treated early, meningitis can lead to death or permanent disabilities. One in five of those who survive will suffer from long-term side effects, such as brain damage, hearing loss, seizures, or limb amputation.
For more information on Meningococcal disease and the recommendations, check out the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Hepatitis B Disease and Vaccine
Hepatitis B is a serious and contagious viral infection that attacks the liver and may lead to acute disease, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. It is a major health problem in the United States infecting more than 1 million people.
You can get the infection through contact with blood or body fluids from an infected person. Hepatitis B is a hardy virus that can live for more than a week in dried blood or body fluids on clothes or other surfaces.
Common ways of getting Hepatitis B include:
a) through sexual contact (100 times more contagious than HIV spread sexually);
b) through the eyes or mouth by exposure to blood or other body fluids;
c) through the skin by way of cuts, scrapes, needle sticks or needle sharing; and,
d) through contact between an infected mother and her newborn child during birth and early infancy.
Although there is no specific treatment for acute hepatitis B, there are safe and effective vaccines available to help prevent infection. The vaccination series consists of three shots given over a 6 month period of time. The vaccine is 90% effective for adults and 95% effective for infants, children, and adolescents who complete the three-dose vaccination series.
For more information on Hepatitis B and the vaccine, please check out the
Anyone exposed to tuberculosis (TB) or showing symptoms of TB should see a health care provider for evaluation and possible TB testing. TB tests are generally not needed for people with a low risk of infection with TB bacteria. The United States Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that TB testing be performed on all individuals who may be at increased risk of TB as indicated below (CDC April 2012).
Who Should Get Tested for TB
Certain people should be tested for TB bacteria because they are more likely to get TB disease, including:
- People who have spent time with someone who has TB disease
- People with HIV infection or another medical problem that weakens the immune system
- People who have symptoms of TB disease (fever, night sweats, cough, and weight loss)
- People from a country where TB disease is common (most countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia)
- People who live or work somewhere in the United States where TB disease is more common (homeless shelters, prison or jails, or some nursing homes)
- People who use illegal drugs
Please keep this form with you for future reference regarding the possible symptoms and risk factors of TB. Contact UWS Student Health and Counseling for further information.
TED Students: Tuberculosis skin testing (Mantoux tuberculin skin testing) is covered by Student Health and Counseling Services for TED students. TB Clinics are held once each semester on campus, both for the administration and the reading of the results. TED students that do not obtain their TB testing during the on-campus TB Clinic days, will be responsible for the cost of the testing at the Douglas County Public Health Offices.
For more information about tuberculosis and these recommendations/guidelines, check out the Centers for Disease Control