Medical Information and Vaccination Policy

All students are required to file an official physical examination form with the Student Wellness Center that is 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.

 

student giving the thumbs up

All part-time students are required to file an official immunization and medical information form with the Student Wellness Center. These forms must be completed and updated before attending classes.

To protect all students, faculty and staff at Marymount California 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 Student Wellness Center is responsible for the implementation of the vaccination program.

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

  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis): Within 10 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 non-immune or if administration cannot be documented.
  • Hepatitis B: A series of three vaccines given according to ACIP guidelines.
  • TB Skin Test or Chest X-ray: All incoming 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.
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)

Marymount California University recommends the following immunizations for all incoming students:

  • Meningitis (types A, C, Y and W-135 and Serougroup B)
  • Hepatitis A
  • HPV
  • Influenza V: Trivalent (IIV3), Quadrivalent (IIV4), Recombination (RIV3) or live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV)

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.

According to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.

From January 1 to August 1, 2019, 1,172 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 30 states. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. Measles can cause serious complications. The majority of cases are among people who were not vaccinated against measles.

Worldwide, there are an estimated 24.1 million cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, and about 160,700 deaths per year. In 2012, the most recent peak year, CDC reported 48,277 cases of pertussis in the United States, but many more go undiagnosed and unreported. This is the largest number of cases reported in the United States since 1955 when public health experts reported 62,786 cases. The CDC says whooping cough vaccines offer the best protection against this very contagious disease and recommends for people of all ages.

Disease information

Tetanus is a serious disease caused by a toxin produced by a bacterium called Clostridium tetani, commonly found in soil. When the bacteria invade the body through open wounds, they attack the nervous system and cause painful muscle spasms. Another name for tetanus is “lockjaw.” It often causes a person’s neck and jaw muscles to lock, making it hard to open the mouth or swallow.

Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae, which is spread by respiratory droplets, like from coughing or sneezing. It causes a thick covering in the back of the throat and can lead to difficulty swallowing and breathing, heart failure, paralysis and even death.

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a contagious lower respiratory illness caused by a bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. It is typically spread by coughing or sneezing or when people spend time together and share breathing space. The illness can be lethal to infants and can cause protracted illness in older persons, often lasting months if not treated in a timely fashion.

Measles is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and results in a disease characterized by high fever, cough, runny nose, red and watery eyes, and a rash. Complications can include diarrhea, pneumonia, ear infections, corneal ulcerations and encephalitis. The disease is highly contagious. About 1 in 5 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, body aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands. This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. Outbreaks most commonly occur among groups of people who have prolonged, close contact, such as sharing water bottles, kissing, practicing sports together, or living in close quarters, with a person who has mumps.

Rubella (German measles) is a contagious disease caused by a virus and spread by respiratory droplets. Affected individuals experience fever, sore throat, a rash and swollen lymph nodes. It can cause a miscarriage or serious birth defects in a developing baby if a woman is infected while she is pregnant.

Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver. It’s spread when people come in contact with the blood, open sores or body fluids of someone who has the hepatitis B virus. It can also be transmitted sexually and through non-sterile IV needles. The virus can cause scarring of the organ, liver failure and cancer. It can be fatal if left untreated.

Recommended vaccines information

Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. A bacterial or viral infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord usually causes the swelling. However, injuries, cancer, certain drugs and other types of infections also can cause meningitis. Initial symptoms are flu-like and include fever, chills, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches and a rash. Even with timely antibiotic therapy, affected individuals may experience complications of the disease, including loss of hearing or limbs, or death.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus. It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. Hepatitis A is usually a short-term infection and does not become chronic. Antibodies produced in response last for life and protect against reinfection.

Varicella, or chickenpox, is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It causes a itchy, blister-like rash. The rash appears first on the chest, back and face, and then spreads over the entire body causing between 250 and 500 itchy blisters. Chickenpox can be serious, especially in babies, and people with weakened immune systems.

HPV, or human papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted infection. 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. The HPV vaccine is recommended at ages 11 to 12 to ensure children are protected long before they are ever exposed to the virus.

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 non-immune, through no fault of their own, at extreme risk of developing illness with concomitant complications.

Why vaccinate now?
  • Vaccine protection from some childhood vaccines wane, so teens require a booster shot.
  • 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.
  • The recommended immunization schedule is regularly updated to include new vaccines and reflect current research. It has changed since the student was first immunized.
  • 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

Student Wellness Center
wellness@MarymountCalifornia.edu
(310) 303-7244
(310) 303-7237 (after hours)

Administrative hours
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

By appointment-only hours
Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Campus location
Building 3 (adjacent to the MCU Bookstore)

Additional services at the Villas
Office of Residential Life and Student Conduct
Mariners Landing at The Villas
600 Palos Verdes Drive North
Room 202