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Non Vax Moms I Have A Question (College Admissions)

Posted by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 9:59 AM
  • 17 Replies

I saw this article on my local news web site. I do fully vax my children, but I respect others choice to not vax or selective vax. Do exemptions extend to college too? Look at this article.

The Vaccines Your College Freshman Needs

State Requirements Vary Greatly

POSTED: 5:15 pm EDT August 18, 2011
UPDATED: 7:04 am EDT August 19, 2011

Most parents know what vaccines their children need and at what age they should receive them, but they may not realize that their college-bound offspring need specific inoculations too.

Each state has different vaccination requirements for students, so if your child is going to an out-of-state school, he or she may be missing a few required vaccines. Most colleges require measles, mumps and rubella varicella, which is chickenpox or proof of having had the disease, hepatitis B, and a tetanus booster, which is necessary only if it's been 10 years since your last shot.

All of us should make sure we're properly vaccinated, but it is especially important for college students. They live close together in dorms or in campus apartments and it's very common for them to share bathrooms, showers, drinks and even towels.

"When you're in close environments, classrooms, working out at the campus recreation centers, living in dorms, you're more likely to come into contact with other people who are ill. The vaccines that we give can help prevent an overall outbreak," says Dr. Maureen Olson, medical director of Student Health Services at Georgia Tech.

Because freshmen can have a tough time adjusting to their new independent lives at college, Olson strongly urges these students to get all their vaccinations on time to reduce the risk of getting sick, an event that could add unnecessary stress.

In addition to required vaccines for college, other vaccines recommended in some cases for college-bound kids include shots to prevent pneumonia, human papillomavirus, hepatitis A, and meningitis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, college freshmen, especially those who live in dormitories, are at an increased risk for contracting bacterial meningitis. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and an altered mental status, which may just sound like a bad hangover, but these actually are signs of a serious illness.

Both bacterial and viral meningitis are contagious and can easily spread to those around you, so it is smart to abstain from sharing drinks, kissing, and coming into direct contact with a lot of people. Since 2009, 34 states have passed laws requiring colleges to inform students of the risks and warning signs of this disease and 15 states have actually mandated that students be vaccinated.

Practicing healthy habits such as hand washing, cleaning contaminated surfaces with soap and water, and refraining from sharing drinks, utensils or lipstick also will reduce health risks.

However, if a student does become sick, it is equally important to prevent the spread of illness to classmates.

First, if you feel sick, don't go to class. Instead, call your student health center so you can see a doctor and start taking medication. If you have flu, for example, the doctor will probably recommend that you stay in your room until the fever has subsided, usually within 24 hours.

Even though you may be feeling better, it is imperative that you continue to cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and most important, get plenty of sleep, fluids, and nutritious food.

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by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 9:59 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 10:01 AM

i know you can get a exemption for hep b. i never had to submit proof of vaccines for community college but at the university i did and i'm pretty sure there were no exemptions. since they can accept you or not accept you i am pretty sure its up to the college if they want to exempt them or not.

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 10:12 AM


by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I went to a pretty large university in my state. I didnt have to get anything to go.

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 10:14 AM

I will let my child decide whether or not they want to do this for college. After all, they will be an adult. I can't make decisions for them forever.

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 10:14 AM
I had to have all my vaccinations to go.
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 10:15 AM
I would like to know.... My son heads off to school next year, our doctor gave him the shot(s) he would need... But I guess I didn't realize they were mandatory.
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by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Of course people need vaccines to attend private colleges, I don't think anyone thinks otherwise. Getting vaccinated as an adult isn't the issue people worry about when not vaccinating their babies.

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

I would think that it would be the same as schools. Public schools accept waivers, private schools have the option not to.

I went to both a public and a private college. Neither one ever asked for my vaccine records.

by Bronze Member on Aug. 19, 2011 at 10:20 AM
I had to present medical records when i officially registered. Then I had to get a booster of some sort, measles I think, during my sophomore year. Everyone had to show proof at one of the student centers or you'd get deregistered. There must have been an outbreak or change in requirements or something.This was at Rutgers back in the mid-nineties. I have no idea how they handle these things now.
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM

I have gone to several community colleges in my state and never had to prove vaccinations. I will when i get accepted into the RN program, but that is understandable.

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