1. Summary of Policy: Prior to matriculation at a member institution within the University System of New Hampshire (USNH), all undergraduate and graduate students are required to provide proof of immunization or demonstrate their immunity to specific vaccine-preventable diseases as outlined below.
2. Background and Purpose: According to the American College Health Association (ACHA):
Immunizations offer safe and effective protection from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks. The United States is experiencing re-emergence of these diseases, in part due to factors such as un-immunized and under-immunized persons and global travel…ACHA strongly supports the use of vaccines to protect the health of our individual students and our campus communities. In recognition of the vital role that vaccine coverage plays in community immunity (herd immunity), ACHA discourages use of nonmedical exemptions to required vaccines.
2.1 In addition, there is unanimity among health professionals from Keene State College, Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire that a System-wide mandatory immunization policy would optimize the safety and health of our communities from vaccine preventable diseases, many of which are extremely contagious, especially in residential environments.
2.2 ACHA guidelines on immunizations, updated in October 2018, are included for reference. These guidelines follow Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, USNH is requiring the following immunizations for all students attending a member institution:
3.1 Scope: This policy applies to Keene State College, Plymouth State College, and the University of New Hampshire. Granite State College is excluded from the scope based on its unique characteristics, including the lack of residential facilities. Specific Immunization Requirements and Recommendations (in accordance with the above guidelines):
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR): 2 doses at least 28 days apart, initiated after 12 months of age, or immune titers
- Meningococcal (ACWY): 1 dose required within 5 years of enrollment; a booster dose required if initial dose administered prior to age 16
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap): within 10 years, after completion of primary series
- Chicken Pox (Varicella): two doses of vaccine, separated by four to eight weeks, or immune titer
3.3 Strongly Recommended:
- Influenza: annually
- Hepatitis B: series of 3 doses
4. Compliance: Notice of the above immunization requirements and recommendations should be incorporated into appropriate member institution publications. Each member institution will promulgate and maintain procedures under this policy to establish the processes to review and document all student health records for compliance with this policy.
4.1 Each member institution is responsible for determining whether the student has met their entrance health requirements as well as the result for a student failing to meet one or more of the entrance health requirements upon arrival at their institution.
5. Exemptions: Individual students seeking an exemption to one or more of the above requirements must make a written application to their member institution for evaluation.