Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Vaccination Requirement FAQs

If you do not see an answer to a question you have, please visit shs.osu.edu/services/vaccinations/vaccination-requirement/.

Why is there a vaccination requirement? The health and safety of the university community is our top priority, and Ohio State makes every effort to ensure that the university is as proactive as possible at enhancing the health and well-being of our community. While the vaccination requirement alone is unable to stop outbreaks, medical evidence shows that higher levels of vaccination among a population lead to greater protection and less severe symptoms should an outbreak occur. With this in mind, all new students (part time or greater) are required to be vaccinated for: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B and varicella (chickenpox). Students who are new to our residence halls are also required to have the meningococcal conjugate (ACWY) vaccination, recommended by the CDC.

How do you define “new”? A new student is any student who has never been enrolled at and attended Ohio State, and this includes undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The requirement applies to any new student who is half time or greater. (Visit the Registrar’s website for definition of half time).

I am “changing” from another Ohio State campus to the Columbus campus. What is required of me? If you are currently enrolled on any Ohio State campus, you are not subject to the general vaccination requirement. If you will be living in a university residence hall on any campus for the first time, you are required to receive the meningococcal conjugate (ACWY) vaccination.

I am a new student but I will not be living in the residence halls. Do I still have to comply with the requirement? You will be required to have the vaccinations required for all new students (TDAP, polio, MMR, hepatitis B and varicella).

I am an international student. Does this requirement apply to me? In addition to the Tuberculosis testing requirement, new international students are also subject to the vaccination requirement.

I am an international student. What paperwork do I need to submit as proof of vaccination? You must submit either the Ohio State form found at http://shs.osu.edu/services/vaccinations/vaccination-requirement/ or an official vaccination history record from your physician or health care provider. The Ohio State form must be filled in and signed by your licensed health care provider. Records from a licensed health care provider are required if the Ohio State form is not completed. Forms must be completed in English.

Are the regional campuses covered by this requirement? At this time, only the meningococcal conjugate (ACWY) vaccination is required at the regional campuses for students who live in university housing. Ohio State offers university housing at the Newark, Mansfield and Wooster campuses.

Are staff and faculty included in this requirement? Though we encourage our employees to be fully vaccinated, the vaccination requirement does not apply to staff and faculty unless they enroll as new students at the Columbus campus or are otherwise required, such as for staff and faculty members who work in health services.

How/why did you choose these particular vaccines? The student vaccination requirement is consistent with those that the State of Ohio requires for grades K-12 students. Ohio State added the meningococcal conjugate (ACWY) vaccination for students who are new to residence halls because college students are known to be at higher risk for the disease, particularly those who live in dense living quarters, such as residence halls. This vaccination is also currently recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

How will I know if I have to meet the vaccination requirement? A To Do List item will appear in your Student Center alerting you to complete the vaccination requirement. You will also be notified via My BuckMD, the health portal for students of the university. 

I am only taking Distance Learning classes. Does the vaccination requirement apply to me? No. Students who enroll only in Distance Learning courses will be exempt from this requirement. The To Do List items in your Student Center will be removed after semester enrollment has been verified a few weeks after the start of the term.

I have moral or medical reasons for not being vaccinated. What can I do? Exemption forms may be found at http://shs.osu.edu/services/vaccinations/vaccination-requirement/. Medical exemption forms must be signed by a health care provider. Exemption forms for objections for good cause, which includes religious, philosophical and moral convictions, must be notarized.

How do I submit my proof of vaccination? Visit http://shs.osu.edu/services/vaccinations/vaccination-requirement/ for information about submitting vaccination requirement information.

What records do I need to prove my vaccination status? You must submit either the Ohio State form found at http://shs.osu.edu/services/vaccinations/vaccination-requirement/ or an official vaccination history record from your provider’s office. The Ohio State form must be filled in and signed by your licensed health care provider. Records from a licensed health care provider are required if the Ohio State form is not completed. Forms must be completed in English.

If I still need certain vaccinations, where can I get them? Check with your insurance provider to identify providers that are accepted under your insurance plan. All of these vaccinations are available from many health providers, including Student Health Services (SHS). For a complete list of SHS services and costs, visit http://shs.osu.edu/services/vaccinations/.

What happens if I think I was vaccinated but I’m not sure? If your current physician or health care provider or your childhood health care provider does not have medical records, you should consider being re-vaccinated. You may also have lab tests done to check for immunity. Lab tests are only accepted for Hepatitis B, MMR, and Varicella. For details, visit the ACIP General Recommendations on Immunization, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr6002.pdf, pg. 10.

Is it safe to be vaccinated again if I’m unsure of my status and I don’t have access to my records? Repeating vaccinations is an acceptable option that is usually safe. You should discuss your specific circumstances with a health care provider to make sure this is an option for you. www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr6002.pdf, pgs. 27 - 29.

How do I get my vaccination records? Contact your current physician or your childhood health care provider. We also recommend reaching out to your high school in the event your childhood health care provider does not have records. If you were/are in the armed forces, you should have access to comprehensive vaccination records through the VA or through your online portal (for active duty).

What should I do if I don’t have a primary care physician or health care provider? Check with your insurance provider to identify providers that are accepted under your insurance plan. All of these vaccinations are available from many health providers, including Student Health Services (SHS). For a complete list of SHS services and costs, visit http://shs.osu.edu/services/vaccinations/.

How will I know that I have met the vaccination requirement? Once you successfully submit vaccination information and your submission has been approved, you will be notified via My BuckMD secure messaging and your To Do List items will be removed from your Student Center within 2-3 business days. If you chose to exempt from the requirement as defined by the terms above, your To Do List item will be removed from your Student Center after the start of the term.

How will the university enforce this requirement? Students who are not in compliance may not be able to schedule in future terms until they meet the requirement.