Immunization and Exemption Policy

Required Immunizations

Ursinus College requires that students receive the following vaccines:

● Hepatitis B vaccine
● Tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Td or Tdap) vaccine
● Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine
● Meningococcal conjugate or polysaccharide vaccine
● Varicella vaccine
● Polio vaccine
● World Health Organization-approved COVID-19 vaccine

These immunizations are based on recommendations of Ursinus College, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Immunizations, American College Health Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Documentation of the above immunizations are required to be provided prior to the start of classes in the academic year.

Exemptions

Students may request an exemption from the College’s immunization requirements for (1) medical or (2) religious reasons. Students requesting exemptions from immunizations will be required to provide certain documentation and to fill out the Immunization Exemption Request Form annually. The Dean of Students and the Immunization Exemption Review Committee will determine whether the documentation provided is sufficient for an exemption.

Medical Exemption

Students may be granted a medical exemption from the College’s immunization requirement(s) if a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or osteopath provides a signed written statement that immunization may be detrimental to the health of the student. Medical reasons for an exemption generally include the following situations: (i) the student has a disease or takes medicine that weakens the student’s immune system; (ii) the student has a severe allergy to a vaccine or an ingredient in it; and/or (iii) the student had a prior serious adverse event related to a vaccination.

The healthcare provider may not be related to the student. In addition, the health care provider’s specialty, and the accompanying documentation, must be appropriate to the medical diagnoses/conditions/reasons for which the student is seeking an exemption.

When the healthcare provider determines that immunization is no longer detrimental to the student’s health, the student will be required to be immunized.

Religious Exemption

Students may be granted a religious exemption from the College’s immunization requirement(s) if the student (or if the student is less than 18 years old, the student’s parent or guardian) objects in writing to the immunization on the basis of a religious tenet or belief. There are unique requirements under Pennsylvania law applicable only to the meningococcal vaccine. As a result, if the student is requesting an exemption for the meningococcal vaccine, the written statement may describe the student’s objection based on a religious tenet or belief or strong moral or ethical convictions similar to a religious tenet or belief.

Process

Medical Exemptions

  1. The student (or if the student is less than 18 years old, the student’s parent or guardian) must complete the Immunization Exemption Request Form
  2. The student must attach a signed statement from a health care provider (physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or osteopath)
    a. documenting the student’s specific contraindications to the vaccine(s),
    b. including how the vaccine may be detrimental to the health of the student
  3. The student must submit the signed Request for Immunization Exemption Form and the required health care provider statement to the Wellness Center.
  4. The Request for Immunization Exemption Form and the accompanying health care provider statement will be disclosed to the Dean of Students and/or Immunization Exemption Review Committee, as necessary, for the purpose of review of the request and determination of exemption eligibility. The College reserves the right in its sole discretion to request additional information or documentation from the health care provider before granting an exemption.
  5. The student will be notified by the Dean of Students or Immunization Exemption Review Committee whether the exemption has been granted, including any additional requirements or accommodations related to the exemption.

Religious Exemptions

  1. The student (or if the student is less than 18 years old, the student’s parent or guardian) must complete the Immunization Exemption Request Form.
  2. The student (or if the student is less than 18 years old, the student’s parent or guardian) must attach a written, first-hand statement describing the religious tenet or belief preventing vaccination. If the student is requesting an exemption from the meningococcal vaccine, the statement may describe the religious tenet or belief or the moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious tenet or belief, preventing vaccination. This statement must be signed by the student (or parent or guardian, if applicable).
  3. The student must submit the signed Request for Immunization Exemption Form and the required statement to the Wellness Center.
  4. The Request for Immunization Exemption Form and the accompanying personal statement will be disclosed to the Dean of Students and/or Immunization Exemption Review Committee, as necessary, for the purpose of review of the request and determination of exemption eligibility. The College reserves the right in its sole discretion to request additional information or documentation related to the described religious tenet or belief, or moral or ethical conviction, before granting an exemption.
  5. The student will be notified by the Dean of Students or Immunization Exemption Review Committee whether the exemption has been granted, including any additional requirements or accommodations related to the exemption.