Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Vaccination Requirement FAQs

If you do not see an answer to a question you have, please visit go.osu.edu/vaccination.

 

WHY

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 (half time or greater) are required to be vaccinated for hepatitis B, measles/ mumps/rubella (MMR), polio, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) and varicella. Students who are new to our residence halls are also required to have the meningococcal conjugate (ACWY) vaccination.

Why did Ohio State choose these particular vaccines?
The university selected the required vaccines based on the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are also followed by the State of Ohio for grades K-12. Additionally, 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 hall.

Why are the dosing and dosing schedules so specific?
The CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) set the dosing schedules which are based on medical evidence. The Ohio State University’s requirement is guided by these schedules. 

 

WHO

How will I know if I have to meet the vaccination requirement?
All new students are required to complete the Vaccination Requirement. (Please see definition of “new” in the next FAQ). A To Do List item will appear in your Buckeye Link 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. Please see FAQs about Distance Learners and Program 60 students below.

How do you define “new”?
A new student is any student who has never been enrolled at and attended Ohio State. 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). Please see exceptions for Distance Learners and Program 60 students below

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 are required to be vaccinated for hepatitis B, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), polio, tetanus/diphtheria/ pertussis (Tdap) and varicella).

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 housing at the Newark, Mansfield and Wooster campuses. The university, however, does recommend being vaccinated for hepatitis B, MMR, polio and varicella.

If you transfer to the Columbus campus, you will not be required to be vaccinated, as you are no longer considered a “new” student at Ohio State. If, however, 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 an international student. Does this requirement apply to me?
In addition to the tuberculosis testing requirement, new international students are also subject to the hepatitis B, MMR, polio, Tdap and varicella requirements

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

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 am a Program 60 student. Does the vaccination requirement apply to me?
If you are a new student, enrolled through Program 60 at half time or greater, you are required to complete the Vaccination Requirement. (Visit the Registrar’s website for definition of half time).

If you are a new student, enrolled through Program 60 at less than half time, 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.

Are staff and faculty included in this requirement? Although 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 TO 

Do you have instructions for completing the Vaccination Requirement?
Yes, please find the instructions at https://shs.osu.edu/services/vaccinations/vaccination-requirement/.

What records do I need to prove my vaccination status?
You must submit either the Ohio State University 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 medical provider. Records from a licensed medical provider are required if the Ohio State form is not completed. Forms must be completed in English.

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

When is the Vaccination Requirement due?
The Vaccination Requirement is due on the first day of your first semester at the Ohio State University, i.e. your first day of classes.

How will I know that I have finished and reached compliance for the vaccination requirement?
Once you successfully enter (type in) your vaccine dates and upload your vaccination documentation, our team will review your submissions. If you are compliant, you will be notified via My BuckMD secure messaging and your To Do List items will be removed from your Buckeye Link Student Center within 2-3 business days.

How will the university enforce this requirement?
Students who are not in compliance may not be able to schedule classes for future semesters until they reach compliance for their Vaccination Requirement(s).

How do I obtain 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 Veterans Affairs 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?
All of these vaccinations are available from many health providers, including Student Life Student Health Services (SLSHS). Check with your insurance provider to identify providers that are accepted under your insurance plan. For a complete list of SLSHS services and costs, visit http://shs.osu.edu/services/vaccinations/.

I can’t find my records anywhere, but I think I was vaccinated, what should I do?
If your current physician or health care provider or your childhood health care provider does not have medical records, you should talk to your licensed medical provider about your vaccination options. You may also have blood tests (titers) done to check for immunity. Blood tests are only accepted for hepatitis B, MMR, and varicella.

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 licensed medical provider to make sure this is an option for you.

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

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. General Exemption forms for objections for good cause, which includes religious, philosophical and moral convictions, must be notarized.