All students entering the University are required to show proof of two MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccinations. Most individuals have had to meet this requirement for primary school, so the easiest way to locate your records is to check with your family physician's office, school system, or childhood records your parents may have. If you cannot find your records, you may receive the vaccine at Student Health & Wellness. Click here to read the MMR policy. Here are frequently asked questions about the MMR requirement. If you don't have Adobe Acrobat to read these files, download it free.
Other immunizations that we strongly recommend are:
Influenza vaccine – (Flu shot or mist)
Influenza usually comes to campus early and stays late with peak infection times in late fall (around finals) and early winter. According to the CDC, the single best way to prevent getting the flu is to get a flu vaccine. We think it is so important that SHW will offer flu vaccine clinics at various sites around campus as well as walk-in flu clinics here at SHW. Check out the Flu I.Q. widget from the CDC.
(You may have received this series of three shots in elementary or middle school). Hepatitis B is contracted through exchange of blood or body fluids. Once you complete the series of vaccinations, you are presumed to be immune for life. There is a blood test that can be done to confirm immunity to Hepatitis B (required for all health science students).
Tetanus Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap)
The Tdap vaccine is recommended once as an adult and then reverts to Tetanus/Diphtheria once every ten years. This vaccine protects you from tetanus (AKA lockjaw) must commonly a risk after being wounded or bitten; diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity; and acellular; acellular pertussis is an adult form of the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine. Each year we see several cases of pertussis on campus. It is a very contagious disease requiring isolation for a period of several days while on medication. This could result in missing many classes so it is important to protect yourself from this infection by getting the vaccine.
This vaccine is so important for students to receive that Iowa law requires us to inform you about getting it and if you choose not to be vaccinated, you sign a waiver to that effect. Meningitis is an infection of the lining of the brain that can be caused by a bacteria or a virus. Bacterial meningitis is highly contagious and can be fatal or result in serious long term effects such as blindness, coma, amputations, and permanent brain damage. While not common, the risk for this disease is greatest in people under the age of 20 who are living in close quarters and who may share eating utensils, personal hygiene items, or through close personal contact (e.g., kissing). The CDC recommends a Meningitis vaccine booster for students who received their first vaccine before the age of 16.
Other immunizations you may wish to complete before you start school or while you are here:
Varicella (chicken pox)
The Varicella vaccine is only recommended for those who have not had the disease. Chicken pox is a highly contagious viral infection. Fortunately there is a very effective vaccine to protect you from catching it.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
HPV is a common virus that infects the skin and mucous membranes. There is a vaccine for both men and women. HPV is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact – usually through sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal). HPV rarely causes serious health problems in men, particularly in those who have healthy immune systems; it is, however, a significant risk factor for cervical cancer in women.
The Hepatitis A vaccine protects against infectious hepatitis which is usually contracted through contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A vaccine is an essential for anyone traveling outside the US (think spring break in the Caribbean).
Health Science students
Your college may require additional health requirements. Please check with your college upon admission for additional requirements.
TB testing for International students
Your tuberculosis (TB) screening test must be performed in the U.S. (sometime after your most recent arrival in this country). If you have not been tested in the U.S. you will be during orientation week here at The University of Iowa. If your TB screening test is positive, you will be required to have a chest x-ray here at the University of Iowa. All these things can be taken care of at the immunization clinics during orientation. Click here for more information on TB.
Immunizations may or may not be covered by your insurance. Check with your insurer before you come in – if they are not covered, we will add them to your U-Bill. Thank you for helping us keep this a healthy campus!