General Policies & Procedures: Immunizations & Vaccinations
To: New Students to the Academic Health Center Schools or Programs
From: Ross Janssen, Director, University of Minnesota Office of Occupational Health and Safety
Re: Immunization Requirements and Process for Academic Health Center Students
The safety of patients, students, faculty, and staff is the highest priority in the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center (AHC). By AHC policy, students in the AHC schools and programs are required to have current immunizations and/or tests as a condition of enrollment. AHC students in all programs in the School of Dentistry, Medical School, School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, School of Public Health, and the Center for Allied Health Programs must meet this requirement. Because first year students are expected to have this requirement completed prior to entering AHC programs, I write to inform you how you can assure that you start your academic program in compliance with these requirements.
A. Required Documented Tests and Immunizations
B. Process required to obtain documentation
Veterinary Medicine students are exempt from this policy and will be contacted by the College of Veterinary Medicine regarding the immunizations that are required.
Requirements for health professions are different from those recommended for the general population including undergraduate students. The University’s requirement for health professions students is consistent with those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Minnesota state law for health care workers. Students cannot be in patient care settings without the required immunization.
Required Documented Tests and Immunizations
Students must have and document the following tests and immunizations.
- Hepatitis B. Document three doses of the vaccine or antibody titre (blood test) results documenting immunity. Note: The Hepatitis B series takes four to six months to complete; therefore, if you have not had this series, you should begin this process as soon as possible to comply with this requirement.
- Varicella (Chicken Pox). Document two doses of the vaccine or a self-reported history of the disease. If you are unsure whether or not you have had varicella, you may submit antibody titre results documenting immunity.
- Measles (Rubeola). Document two doses after age 12 months or antibody titre results documenting immunity.
- Mumps. Document two doses after age 12 months or antibody titre results documenting immunity.
- Rubella (German measles). Document two doses after age 12 months or antibody titre results documenting immunity.
- Tetanus/Diphtheria. Document most current dose within the last ten years.
- A two-step tuberculin skin test (TST) test. Documentation of the two-step TST.
- This test involves placement of a purified protein derivative (PPD) to test for tuberculosis. It must be read 48-72 hours after placement, and the area of indurations recorded. The AHC requires a second PPD test to be performed two weeks after the first test. This two-step TST needs to be done once.
- Annual TST. Documentation of an annual TST. If you have had a two-step TST more than one year ago, you should have a standard TST. Annual TST’s are required each year you are in your program.
- Chest x-ray if you have had a positive TST. If you have had a positive TST, your documentation must include the results of your follow-up chest x-ray. Once this documentation is submitted, yearly TST is not required.
We understand that many students have not had a two-step TST before. To understand this requirement for health care workers, you can refer to the immunization website and read the section “Why a Two-Step Tuberculin Skin Test?” Currently, 5% of AHC students are testing positive on the two-step TST and require health consultation.
Process required to obtain documentation
- Once you are admitted to an AHC school or program, you can find a personalized form in your University myU Portal under the tab titled "Health and Wellness". You may download a non-personalized Immunization Form. Print and take this form to your health care provider to complete. A health care provider is defined as a physician (MD and DO), nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, pharmacist, and registered nurse. Often the information may be required from multiple providers. In these cases, a separate Immunization Form for each provider is the preferred way to complete the documentation. It is highly recommended that you keep a copy of all documentation.
- When the form or forms are completed, they must be turned in to Boynton Health Service (BHS). When the BHS staff receives your information, they will review the form and verify whether your immunizations and documentation on the form meet the University standards. Your immunization information will become part of your confidential BHS medical record. Note: review and verification of your immunizations and form will take BHS staff approximately two to five days to process. Turning in the form does not confirm that you are in compliance with these requirements. The forms must be processed and verified by BHS before compliance is confirmed.
- Once you are admitted to an AHC school or program, you may check on your immunization status in your University myU Portal under the “Health and Wellness” tab.
- If you have completed all requirements, you and your school/college will be notified by email of your status. Your school/college will allow you to enroll in classes and clerkships.
- If you have not completed all requirements, your school/college will put a hold on your record, including not allowing you to enroll in your classes and rotations.
If you have questions about your immunization status, contact BHS at 612-626-5571.
As future health professionals, you need to understand infection control for the safety of you and your patients. I appreciate your efforts to comply with these policies.