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Immunization FAQs

TB Health Assessment FormThe following vaccines and TB screening are required of all incoming students.

Additional vaccines may be recommended based on health status.


Intervals Between Doses of Vaccine

Vaccine doses must have been administered according to CDC approved schedule(s). Doses of vaccine given too close together (i.e., less than the minimum interval) do not count and should be repeated. Minimum intervals are noted next to the vaccine.

Doses given farther apart than the recommended schedule are acceptable and do not need to be repeated.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (Two doses are required)

First dose no more than four days before your first birthday. Second dose at least one month later.

Q: I do not have access to my vaccine records, what do I do?

A: If you believe you have had two doses of MMR vaccine, ask your primary care provider to order blood tests for measles, mumps and rubella immunity. However, if you do not have evidence of immunity to all three diseases (e.g., measles, mumps, and rubella) and do not have records of having had two doses of MMR, you will still need to get vaccinated with MMR since the vaccine is not available as a single antigen product in the U.S. If you have not had the required two doses of MMR vaccine, contact your primary care provider to obtain the missing dose(s) of MMR vaccine. Note the doses must be given at least one month apart. Since MMR is a live vaccine, it is contraindicated in certain conditions including pregnancy. Visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/ for more details.

Varicella (Chicken pox) (Two doses are required)

First dose no more than four days before your first birthday. Second dose at least one month later.

Q: I have not been vaccinated for chicken pox and I am not sure if I had the disease. What do I do?

A: Currently in the U.S. estimates are that 90 percent of adults are immune to chickenpox because of having had the disease as children. If you are uncertain of your medical history, blood testing can be done to see if immunization is needed. If the blood test does not show immunity, you will need two doses of varicella vaccine given at least one month apart.

Q: I had chicken pox as a child, do I still need the vaccine?

A: If you have a history of having had chicken pox, you will still need to obtain a varicella titer showing immunity.

Q: I had two doses of Varicella vaccine, one month apart but my varicella titer does not show immunity to varicella.

A: If you have documentation of two varicella vaccine doses, given according to the immunization guidelines, you do not need to do anything further.

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap) (One dose )

One dose after age 7.

Tdap: Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids with acellular pertussis vaccine is given to adolescents and adults, usually as a single dose; the exception is pregnant women who should receive Tdap during each pregnancy.

 
Q: We do not have Tdap available in my country, what should I do?
 
A: Please leave that field on the form blank and follow up with our clinical nurse to get the Tdap vaccination when you arrive. This will not affect your registration status or clearance in your my.ucmerced.edu portal.
 
Q: Does Td or DTaP fufill the Tdap requirement?
 
A: No, Tdap is still required.

Meningococcal Conjugate (One dose)

No more than four days before age 16 for all students age 21 or younger.

There are two types of meningococcal vaccines for serogroups A,C,W, Y available in the United States: polysaccharide and conjugate vaccines. Neither type of vaccine contains live meningococcal bacteria. Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccines in which the polysaccharide is chemically bonded (“conjugated”) to a protein produce better protection. Brand names include Menactra (MenACWY-D) and Menveo (MenACWY-CRM).

Q: Is MenB vaccine required?

A: No Men B is not required, but for protection against all five serogroups of meningococcus it is necessary to receive both vaccines. Meningococcal polysaccharide or conjugate vaccines provide no protection against serogroup B disease and MenB vaccines provide no protection against serogroup A, C, W or Y disease.

Q: I am 22 (or older), is Meningococcal required?

A: No. You can leave that field on the form blank. We will clear you based on your birth date.

Q: I got vaccinated for Meningitis before my 16th birthday, do I need to get it again or can I use that date?

A: You need to get it again. To be compliant, your dose must be given no earlier than four days before your 16th birthday.

Q: I received MPSV (polysaccharide) vaccine does this meet the requirement?

A: No. You must get the MCV4 (conjugate) vaccine.

Screening for Tuberculosis

All incoming students must complete a TB risk screening questionnaire. Students identified as being at increased risk for tuberculosis must follow the instructions for tuberculosis testing and clearance including obtaining their healthcare provider’s signature on the TB Health Assessment Form attesting to the student being free of active tuberculosis disease. The signed form is then uploaded and sent to the immunization nurse through the myHealth portal prior to the first day of classes. TB Screening must be current and within the last 12 months. (Higher risk includes travel to or living in South and Central America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East; prior positive TB testing; or exposure to someone with active TB disease.)

A: We run a report on the TB Questionnaires received. We will send you a secure message in myHealth with the additional requirements.

Q: Do I need to do a TB blood test or can I have a TB skin test instead?

A: Either test is acceptable. The TB blood test is preferred if you come from an area where vaccination with BCG is done in childhood since this can in some cases result in a false positive TB skin test.

Technical and Records related questions

Q: My records are on separate pages, can I upload multiple records?

A: Yes. You can upload as many images as you need to. There is no limit.

Q: My records are in another language, do they need to be translated to English?

A: It is highly preferred that you submit your records in English. If we cannot interpret your records, further steps may be required.

Q: I am having trouble uploading images of my immunization records.

A: You can try re-sizing the photos. Normally photos taken on a phone are fine. The alternative is that you can mail or fax the records to our Medical Records department (or bring it in person if you're local). We can't accept medical information via email.

Medical Records contact info is:
Student Health Services Medical Records
5200 N. Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
Or Fax to: 209-228-7650

Q: I do not have access to my vaccine records, what do I do?

A: If you believe you have met the requirements for MMR or Varicella, ask your primary care provider to order blood tests (titers) for immunity. However, if you do not have evidence of immunity, you will still need to get vaccinated, contact your primary care provider to obtain the missing dose(s) of the vaccines.

You will need to show proof that you have been vaccinated for Tdap on or after age seven, and Meningococcal Conjugate on or after age 16 (if you are under 22 years old).

Other Questions

Q: Is there a physical exam required?

A: There is no physical exam required.

Q: Do I need to fulfill the immunization requirements and TB screening if I have been a student at Merced in the past and am returning as a re-admit?

A: Yes. The immunization requirements have changed so you will need to complete the new requirements. Continueing UC Merced students are not required to meet the new requirements at this time. 

Q: What if I need a medical exemption form?

A: Personal exemptions are not permitted. A Medical Exemption Form can be found here. It must be filled out and signed by a medical provider. The form can either be uploaded in the myHealth portal (preferrable method) or returned by mail or fax:

Mail to:
Student Health Services Administration - attention: Medical Director
5200 N. Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
Or Fax to: 209-228-7650

Additional vaccines that are strongly recommended but not required:

  • Human Papillomavirus (for men and women through age 26 years)
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Meningococcal B (ages 16-23 who elect vaccination after discussion with their healthcare provider)

Other recommended vaccines:

  • Influenza vaccine (annual)
  • Hepatitis A vaccine
  • Pneumococcal vaccine (for students with certain medical conditions, e.g,. severe asthma, diabetes, chronic liver or kidney disease)
  • Poliovirus vaccine (if series not completed as a child)
  • Vaccines for international travel, based on destination