IMMUNIZATION

Students upon entering the College are expected to provide required documentation as part of New Student Orientation prior to moving in to the residence hall or the first day of classes, whichever is the student’s first appearance on campus.  

PURPOSE OF POLICY 

  • To comply with New York State Public Health Law $ 2165, which requires all students taking six (6) credits or more in a degree-granting program to provide proof of immunization to measles, mumps, and rubella;  
  • To comply with New York State Public Health Law $ 2167, which requires the distribution of information to students regarding meningococcal meningitis and the benefits of immunization, and the acknowledgement that students have received and reviewed the information;  
  • To require vaccination against meningococcal meningitis for students residing in the residence hall;  
  • To maintain a safe environment for learning and living on campus that adheres to both legal compliance and public health guidance.  

POLICY STATEMENT  

New York State law and/or Vaughn College require that all deposited students (graduate, undergraduate, and transfers):  

  • Provide Vaughn College with certification from a health care provider or other acceptable evidence that they have received immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella with vaccines that meet the standards for such biological products that have been approved by the United States Public Health Service and the New York State Department of Health; or evidence of immunity by history of disease or serological evidence.  
  • Provide Vaughn College with certification from a health care provider or other acceptable evidence that they have received immunization against COVID-19 that meet the standards for such biological products that have been authorized for emergency use or licensed for use by the United States Food & Drug Administration or authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization.  
  • Receive written information from Vaughn College about meningococcal meningitis; and complete a meningococcal meningitis response certifying either that they have received such immunization within the past five years, or that they have received the written information from Vaughn College and understand the risks of meningococcal meningitis but have chosen not to be immunized against it. The parent and guardian of students under the age of 18 must make the certification on behalf of the students. All resident students are required to be vaccinated against Meningitis.  

In the event of an outbreak or as otherwise required to maintain the safety and health of the campus environment, students who have approved exemptions from these immunization requirements may be restricted or excluded from campus and from college sponsored activities.  

COMPLIANCE DEADLINE  

The deadline for vaccination compliance is the student’s residence hall move-in day or first day of classes, whichever is earliest. Students who fail to comply within thirty (30) days of this deadline will be de-registered from classes and/or prohibited from entering any campus buildings/facilities, including College residence halls, until they have submitted the required documentation or can provide a valid reason (as set forth in this policy statement) for non-compliance.  

EXCEPTION TO IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENT  

The legal exceptions to required immunizations are as follows:  

  • If a licensed physician or nurse practitioner certifies that such immunization is detrimental to the student’s health or otherwise medically contraindicated  
  • If immunization is contrary to the student’s genuine and sincere religious beliefs  
  • If a student is born prior to January 1, 1957, that student does not need to provide proof of immunization to measles, mumps, and rubella because they are considered to have developed immunity. The student must comply with all other immunization requirements set forth by this policy. 

MENINGOCOCCAL MENINGITIS VACCINE
New York State Public Health Law requires all college and university students to either receive the vaccination against meningococcal meningitis, or acknowledge that they have been made aware of the risks and have chosen not to be vaccinated. All residents are required to receive the vaccination; they may not sign the waiver. 

  • Is there a vaccine to prevent meningococcal meningitis?
    There are vaccines available which may help to prevent the five serogroups of Meningitis. Menactra or Menveo (meningococcal conjugate vaccines) is the preferred vaccine for people ages 2-55. It helps to protect against Serogroups A, C, Y, W-135. 

Bexsero or Trumenba help to protect against Serogroup B. According to the CDC, all adolescents and young adults (16 through 23 years of age) may also be vaccinated with a Serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years of age. CDC recommends that certain adolescents and young adults should be vaccinated with a Serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. They include those at increased risk because of a Serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak and people with certain medical conditions. 

All College students, especially first-year students living in a residence hall are recommended  to be vaccinated with Menactra or Menveo vaccine. If they received this vaccine before their 16th birthday, they should get a booster dose before going to college. You must document that you received the Meningitis Vaccine(s) to live in the residence hall. 

  • What is meningococcal disease?
    Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection of the bloodstream or meninges (a thin lining covering the brain and spinal cord). It is caused by Neisseria meningitidis also known as meningococcus. 
  • How is the meningococcus germ spread?
    The meningococcus germ is spread by direct close contact with respiratory or throat secretions or the saliva of an infected person.  Up to one in ten people carry this germ in their nose or throat without any sign of illness but others may develop serious symptoms. 
  • Who gets meningococcal disease?
    Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but it is more common in infants and children, followed by a second peak in adolescence. Infants less than one year and adolescents ages 16 through 23 years have higher rates of contracting the disease than other age groups but cases occur in all age groups including the elderly. For some adolescents, such as first year college students living in residence halls there is an increased risk of meningococcal disease. 
  • What are the symptoms?
    Symptoms may include high fever, headache, stiff neck, vomiting, weakness, altered mental status (confusion), skin rash and feeling very ill. The symptoms may appear two to ten days after exposure but usually within five days.  Among people who develop meningococcal disease, 10 to 15 percent die, in spite of treatment with antibiotics. Of those who live, permanent brain damage, hearing loss, kidney damage, loss of arms or legs, or chronic nervous system problems may occur in about 10 to 20 out of every 100 survivors. 
  • How do I get more information about meningococcal disease and vaccination?
    Contact your family health care provider. Additional information is also available on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

PROOF OF IMMUNIZATION 

Acceptable proof includes one of the following: 

  • A certificate of immunization signed by your health care provider; 
  • A student health record from a previous school documenting your immunization history; 
  • A laboratory copy of serologic testing for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) antibodies; 
  • Documentation that proves you have attended primary or secondary school in the United States after 1980 is sufficient proof that you have received one dose of live measles vaccine. You must, however, provide, a certificate of immunization that documents that a dose of measles vaccine was administered within one year prior to attending a post-secondary institution. Documentation of mumps and rubella vaccines must also be provided. 
  • Documentation (passport, driver license, birth certificate) that confirms your date of birth as prior to January 1, 1957. 

ARMED SERVICES WAIVER 

Students who show proof of honorable discharge from the armed services within 10 years of attendance at the College can attend classes while awaiting receipt of military immunization records. 

REQUEST FOR IMMUNIZATION EXEMPTIONS | MEDICAL OR RELIGIOUS
Students who would like to apply for a medical or religious exemption should complete the immunization exemption form and submit with accompanying documentation. Review of exemption requests will take approximately ten business days so please submit your request with adequate time for review. Questions regarding this process should be directed to  

SUBMISSION OF IMMUNIZATION RECORDS 

Vaughn College has partnered with VitalCheck, a telehealth program, to perform immunization record maintenance and daily COVID health screenings. Once registered with VitalCheck, you will receive three email or text communications: 

  • Link to submit your MMR and Meningitis immunization records; to be completed once upon enrollment at Vaughn 
  • Link to submit your COVID immunization record; ; to be completed once upon enrollment at Vaughn 
  • Daily notifications from VitalCheck to self-certify your health; to be completed anytime you plan to be on-campus  

DISCLOSURE OF IMMUNIZATION RECORDS 

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the College will obtain the student’s written consent prior to disclosing immunization records.