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Vaccine Requirements for College Entry

Most of our kids are up-to-date on their vaccines by the time they are ready to start college.

That’s likely why few of us give college vaccine requirements much thought.

Will this chicken pox outbreak in Ohio spread?
Will this chicken pox outbreak in Ohio spread?

But maybe it is something we should start thinking about more, as it seems that many colleges do not have actually require their students to be vaccinated and protected!

Vaccine Requirements for College Entry

The one vaccine that is the most often associated with going to college is the one that protects our kids against meningococcal disease.

That’s actually two vaccines though:

  • MCV4 – Menactra or Menveo
  • MenB – Bexsera or Trumenba

Which other vaccines should kids get before going to college?

They should get whatever vaccines they might have missed when they were younger, including MMR, chicken pox, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Tdap, HPV, and polio vaccines.

Plus they should get a flu vaccine every year.

Vaccine Recommendations for College Entry

Unfortunately, in many cases, instead of requirements to attend college, we really just have recommendations that students can choose to ignore.

What’s the likelihood that your fellow students are vaccinated and protected?

How many are unvaccinated?

Which school do you plan on attending?

“Immunizations are recommended to protect your health and the health of others, but they are not required by the university.”

Welcome to the University of Michigan!

Fortunately, most schools do require at least some vaccines.

In addition to either Menactra or Menveo, many require two doses of MMR.

Some also require three doses of hepatitis B vaccine.

A few, like the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin don’t require any vaccines though.

These are the ten of the biggest colleges in America, at least in terms of enrollment, and their immunization rules:


On the bright side, Ohio State University, with one of the largest combined graduate and undergraduate enrollment, has the strongest immunization requirements.

On the other hand, it is quite sad that many of the others either have weak requirements, only recommend (R), but don’t actually require many common immunizations for enrollment, or don’t even mention them (X).

Why don’t more colleges have stricter immunization requirements for enrollment?

It is likely that they haven’t caught up with the problem of parents skipping or delaying their kids’ immunizations.

“While many infectious diseases such as meningitis are rare, it is not uncommon for hundreds of students at a large university to contract the flu each season.”

Contagious on campus

Which brings us to a problem – how can colleges hope to control outbreaks well if they don’t even know which students are vaccinated or not, and so can’t easily quarantine unvaccinated students? They seem to manage mumps and meningococcal outbreaks, but neither are as contagious as measles or chicken pox. 

Do we really need to wait for more outbreaks on college campuses before we start requiring that kids be vaccinated and protected before going to college?

At the very least, can we at least start tracking vaccine-preventable disease rates in college kids, make flu deaths in college students reportable, and report vaccination exemption rates by college campus?

More on Vaccine Requirements for College Entry

4 thoughts on “Vaccine Requirements for College Entry”

  1. terribletypos@yahoo.com

    Hello,Love your blog but I believe your top ten list is out of date and should certainly be updated with California universities and their requirements.The UC system as a whole has 273,000 students–UCLA has 45,000 alone. The California State University system (CSU) has 484,000 students system-wide. And USC currently has 47,500 students. Thanks,Jean Wilson

    1. Thanks. Even with the latest stats, all of the top ten schools (enrollment) have over 50,000 students, and the very top have over 60,000. I mention the California universities in the links though, as they did strengthen their immunization requirements recently!

  2. I’m glad that there are still colleges out there like Michigan State that doesn’t force or corce their students to get vaccines. Love it! Vaccines and medication should be ones choice people. Let No institution, company, or “MD” tell you how to live your LIFE or health.

  3. I cannot help myself but say you are doing a disservice by indicating vaccines are effective. I have been a pharma investor and know how the CDC operates and I know the lies and how they complete their little epidemiology studies in which they manipulate variables. I know the true statistics and ALL vaccines are harmful to the nuerological system and they are responsible for people becoming ill with mysterious chronic illnesses. I know how virology works – how viruses stay dormant – and what makes them come out of dormancy – and what makes them proliferate – what they feed on and how they migrate. Every single one of these immunizations / so called vaccinations are useless and harmful to the immune systems of the body. Very harmful. Most results won’t be seen until 20, 25 sometimes 30 years later and guess what — when these symptoms of chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Anxeity, Depression, Lupus, Lyme, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Eczema, Fibromyalgia – when these come up later in life – they will not be looked at as being caused by vaccinations. I have seen data and transcripts that few others have seen. To FORCE this on our children is horrifying. For the love of our children we need to do something about this because they are going to kill us. Bill Gates won’t even think of vaccinating his children but has no problem pushing it all over the world. Trust me, Believe me – what I know is terrifying. The corrupt, immoral, unethical propaganda train must be stopped.

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