Medical Information & Vaccination Policy

MCU MEDICAL INFORMATION AND VACCINATION POLICY

All students are required to file with the Student Wellness Center an official physical examination form signed by a licensed medical doctor. All required immunization information must be up-to-date. A health history and medical information form must also be completed. Failure to provide these records will prohibit students from registering for classes. All part-time students are required to file with the Student Wellness Center an official immunization and medical information form. These forms must be completed and updated before attending classes.

Vaccine Requirements
To protect all students, faculty and staff at MarymountCalifornia University, the University mandates the following required and recommended immunizations for all students, with the only acceptable exemption to be for students with severe adverse reactions documented by a licensed medical professional. The MCU Student Wellness Center is responsible for the implementation of the vaccination program.

Considering all the following justifications, Marymount California University requiresthat all incoming students be prudently immunized for the following:

  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis): Within10 years of admittance
  • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella): a series of two vaccines, typically given at 1 and 5 years, respectively. Boosters can be given if students are demonstrated by titers to be nonimmune or if administration cannot be documented.
  • Hepatitis B vaccines. A series of 3 vaccines given according to ACIP guidelines.
  • TB Skin Test or Chest X-ray. All incoming MCU students must also provide proof of a negative TB Skin Test (PPD), QantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) blood test or Normal Chest X-ray within 1 year prior to admission.

Marymount California University recommendsthe following immunizations for all incoming students:

  • Meningitis (types A, C, Y, and W-135 and Serougroup B). The Meningitis vaccinations are strongly recommended for students living on campus.
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
  • Hepatitis A
  • HPV

Acceptable proof of immunization or immunity is a photocopy of official immunization records from a licensed healthcare provider, clinic, or California public school showing the vaccine type, dose, and date each shot was received. Photocopies of results of blood tests confirming immunity to the above diseases are also acceptable. All records must bear the student’s full name and birthdate. MCU is not responsible for negative outcomes related to exemptions or delays in completing immunizations.

VACCINATIONBACKGROUND

According to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health organization (WHO) and the American College Health Association (ACHA), several recent outbreaks of measles, pertussis, and varicella have been traced to pockets of unvaccinated individuals.

A total of 557 confirmed cases of measles and 38 outbreaks were reported during 2001- 2008. Of these outbreaks, the 3 largest occurred primarily among personal belief exemptions (defined by the ACIP or WHO as persons who were vaccine eligible but remained unvaccinated because of personal or parental beliefs). A total of 68% of reported measles cases were among such unvaccinated U.S. residents. In 2010, there were 27,550 reported cased of pertussis nationally with 26 deaths. Several states reported an increase in cases and/or localized outbreaks of pertussis, including a state-wide epidemic in California.1

Disease Information

Tetanusisa serious disease caused by a toxin produced by a bacterium called Clostridium tetani, commonly found in soil. Bacteria enter the skin through open wounds and attack the nervous system. About a week after exposure, nonimmune individuals develop headache and mild muscle spasms (lockjaw), followed by severe muscle spasms, sometimes resulting in torn muscles, broken bones or respiratory paralysis requiring ventilator support for months.2

Diphtheriais a serious disease caused by a bacterium calledCorynebacterium diphtheria,whichis spread by respiratory droplet. A toxin elaborated by the bacteria causes production of a pseudomembrane lining the back of the throat, causes extreme difficulty in swallowing. Other organs, including the heart and liver, sustain significant damage in affected individuals.2

Pertussisis a contagious lower respiratory illness caused by Bordetella Pertussis. Commonly referred to as”whooping cough”, this illness is spread by respiratory droplet, can be lethal to infants and can cause protracted illness in older persons, often lasting months if not treated in a timely fashion.3

Measles is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and results in a disease characterized by high fever, cough, conjunctivitis, cold symptoms, and a rash among other somatic complaints. Complications can include diarrhea, pneumonia, ear infections, corneal ulcerations and encephalitis.2

Mumps, caused by the mumps virus, is spread by respiratory droplet and is very contagious among nonimmune individuals. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, painful swelling of the parotid glands and in males, painful swelling of the testicles, occasionally resulting in sterility.4

Rubella (German measles) is caused by the rubella virus and is also spread by respiratory droplets. Affected individuals experience fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes. Fetal exposure results in a myriad of congenital defects, sometimes resulting in miscarriage.2

Hepatitis B is caused by hepatitis B virus and is spread by infected body fluids such as through nonsterile IV needles, infected blood product exposure or else sexually transmitted. The virus causes a hepatitis-like illness acutely and over time contributes to development of liver cancer or failure.2

Recommended Vaccines Information

Menincogoccal meningitis is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningiditis and is spread by close contact with infected individuals. Initial symptoms are flu-like and include fever, chills, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and a rash. An endotoxin elaborated by the bacteria attacks the central nervous system causing meningitis. Even with timely antibiotic therapy, affected individuals may experience complications of the disease which include loss of hearing or limbs, or death, due to triggering of the clotting cascade by the bacterial endotoxin.2
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is highly contagious. It is usually transmitted by the fecal-oral route, either through person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection. More than 80% of adults with Hepatitis A have symptoms but the majority of children do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. Antibodies produced in response to Hepatitis A last for life and protect against reinfection. The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is by getting vaccinated.5

Varicella Chickenpox is a very contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever. The rash appears first on the stomach, back and face and can spread over the entire body causing between 250 and 500 itchy blisters. Chickenpox can be serious, especially in babies, adults, and people with weakened immune systems. The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine.6

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes). HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active people get it at some point in their lives. There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. But there are vaccines that can stop these health problems from happening.7

Herd Immunity
Given that not all individuals who are properly vaccinated will develop appropriate antibodies to any given illness, it is important that as many capable persons be vaccinated as possible. When the majority of the population is immunized against an illness, those who are not can often escape infection during an outbreak of disease through a phenomenon known as herd immunity. However, when the number of unvaccinated individuals in a so called herd increases, outbreaks such as those mentioned above occur, leaving those who are nonimmune, through no fault of their own, at extreme risk of developing illness with concomitant complications.

Information for Parents

Why Vaccinate Now?
1. Vaccine protection from some childhood vaccines wane, so your teen requires a booster shot.
2. As kids get older, they are more at risk of catching diseases, like meningococcal meningitis, due to close contact with other teens, so they need protection offered by vaccines.
3. The recommended immunization schedule is regularly updated to include new vaccines and reflect current research. It has changed since your child was first immunized.
4. Specific vaccines, like HPV, are recommended to be given during the preteen (11-12) years and teen (13-18) years.

Additional References:

  • Health & Safety Code: Division 105, Part 2, Chapter 1 [12035-120335]
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Center for Disease Control & Prevention CS272886-G

___________________________
1 www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2069.pdf
2 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
3 www.cdc.gov/pertussis/clinical/index.html
4 www.cdc.gov/mumps
5 www.cdc.gov/hepatitisA
6 www.cdc.gov/chickenpox
7 www.cdc.gov/std/hpv

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Phone: (310) 303-7244

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