All students entering the University are required to show proof of two MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccinations. Health science and international students have additional requirements. Did you receive an email reminder that you were missing some requirements? Click here for more details on what is needed. For MMR records, the easiest way to locate these is to check with your family physician's office, school system, or childhood immunization records your parents may have. If you cannot find your records, you may receive the vaccine(s) at Student Health.
Students may request medical or religious exemptions from receiving immunization(s) by submitting a signed form from the state health department. Links to these forms can be found on our Requirements & Forms page.
A good place to go for immunizations is our IMU Nurse Care location in the lower level of the IMU. No appointment is needed, just walk in! Check our hours for IMU Nurse Care. There are no doctors there however- only immunizations, help with forms, TB tests, etc.
Other immunizations that we strongly recommend are:
Although there is no requirement on campus to receive these vaccines, we strongly urge you to get vaccinated. There is no better way to protect yourself, your family, your roommates, fellow classmates, faculty/staff and the community. We currently have the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at Student Health- call our schedulers to get an appointment to start or finish your series. Pharmacies and other agencies in your area should have plentiful vaccine, so it will be easy to find one in your community as well. These vaccines are given at no cost to you.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
HPV is a common virus that infects the skin and mucous membranes that can lead to cervical, oral and other cancers. There is a vaccine for both men and women. The HPV vaccine is a cancer prevention vaccine and is a 3-shot series.
Influenza vaccine – (Flu shot)
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 Student Health will offer flu vaccine clinics at various sites around campus as well as walk-in flu clinics here at Student Health. Vaccines are usually available in late September or early October.
You may have received this series of three shots as a baby. Hepatitis B is contracted through exchange of blood or body fluids. A blood test 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. It is also given as a booster when pregnant. This vaccine protects you from tetanus (AKA lockjaw) most 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; acellular pertussis is an adult form of the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine. Each year we see several cases of pertussis in our community. It is a very contagious disease requiring isolation for a period of multiple days while on medication. This cough can linger for several months even when the period of contagiousness is over, and this can affect your sleep, socialization and academics.
This Menactra vaccine is so important for students to receive that Iowa law requires us to inform you about meningococcal disease and the vaccine. 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). It is recommended for anyone who wants to reduce risk--not just students in the residence halls. The CDC recommends a Meningitis vaccine booster for students who received their first vaccine before the age of 16. It is currently recommended at age 11-12, so if you received it then, you should get a booster as you start college.
A second meningitis vaccine, the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, was approved in June 2015 by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. It is recommended routinely for people 10 years or older who are at increased risk for serogroup B meningococcal infections and may also be given to anyone 16 through 23 years old to provide short term protection against most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease. This is a 2-dose series, given at least 1 month apart. Student Health has Bexsero in stock.
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. Varicella is a 2-shot series.
The Hepatitis A vaccine protects against infectious hepatitis which is usually contracted through contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all, but essential for anyone traveling outside the US. This is a 2-vaccine series.