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Immunizations offer safe and effective protection from vaccine-preventable diseases. The United States is experiencing re-emergence of many diseases, in part due to factors such as non-immunized and under-immunized persons and global travel. Penn State, along with University Health Services, strongly supports the use of immunizations to protect the health of individual students and the campus community as a whole.

For the safety of our campus community, students who do not supply proper evidence of immunity may be removed from campus during a communicable disease outbreak.

Required Immunizations

Incoming Degree-Seeking Students

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

To satisfy Penn State immunization requirements, students must provide proof of:

  • Two doses of Measles (Rubeola), two doses of Mumps, and one dose of Rubella OR
  • Two doses of the MMR immunization OR
  • Results from a blood test showing immunity

The first dose must have been given on or after the student's first birthday. Dose two must have been given at least four weeks after dose one.

Students Living in University Housing

Meningococcal

In addition to the MMR requirement, all students living in University housing must supply proof of the Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4): also known as Menveo, Menactra. This immunization is effective against the most common meningococcal infections caused by serogroups A, C, W, and Y. One dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine administered at age 16 or older is required. Students may request an exemption from this requirement by completing the Meningococcal Immunization Waiver if there is a medical contraindication to immunization, or if religious or philosophical beliefs prohibit immunization.

Strongly Recommended Immunizations 

COVID-19 

COVID-19 immunization teaches our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes two weeks after immunization for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. People are considered fully protected two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 immunization, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 immunization.

Meningococcal Vaccine (MenB)

Also known as Bexsero or Trumenba. This immunization is effective against most of the more common meningococcal infections caused by serogroup B. These immunizations are given in a series of either two or three injections and are not interchangeable. (Note: This immunization alone does not satisfy the Meningococcal Housing Requirement)

Varicella (Chicken Pox)

Two doses of varicella (chicken pox) immunization are needed for immunity. The doses must be administered at least 28 days apart. OR a blood test confirming immunity if you have had the chicken pox disease.

Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap)

One dose of Tdap (tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis, NOT to be confused with DTap or Td) immunization is needed for immunity. A Td immunization booster is also needed if it has been greater than ten years since the Tdap was administered.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is transmitted through body fluids, including blood. Three doses of Hepatitis B immunization are needed for immunity. Doses one and two must be administered at least four weeks apart. Dose three should be at least six months after the first dose and eight weeks after dose two. A blood test may be used to confirm immunity.

Hepatitis A Vaccine (HepA)

HepA vaccine is a 2-dose series given 6-18 months apart. In some cases, Hep A and Hep B are given as a combined immunization, which would necessitate that 3 doses are needed for immunity.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Three different immunization have been used in the U.S. [Cervarix (bivalent HPV vaccine), Gardasil (Quadrivalent HPV vaccine), Gardasil-9 (9-valent HPV vaccine)]; all three are given in a 3-dose series and are needed for immunity.

Pneumococcal Vaccine

13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PVC13) or 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. Recommended for students with certain medical risk factors or high risk of pneumococcal disease.