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POLICY NO. 27

Categories Policies
MEASLES AND RUBELLA IMMUNIZATION

SECTION 1.         GENERAL

1.1       Scope - This rule promulgates policy and procedures regarding the requirement for measles and rubella immunization of students enrolled in Bluefield State College. 

1.2       Authority - West Virginia Code § 18B-1-6, 18B-1-8. 

1.3       Filing Date - June 23, 1987 

1.4       Effective Date -August 22, 1987 

1.5       Replaces Title 131, Procedural Rule, Series 39 

1.6       Effective Date: November 20, 2003 

SECTION 2.         BACKGROUND

2.1       Vaccine preventable disease (VPD's) have declined dramatically during the past twenty years as a cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. While these declines have been dramatic, significant morbidity and some mortality from these VPD's persist. College-aged students remain particularly susceptible to measles and rubella and these diseases continue to be associated with outbreaks on college campuses. During the recent past, there have been numerous outbreaks on college campuses in the United States and some deaths have occurred. In view of these circumstances, the West Virginia State Commissioner of Health requested that proof of valid measles and rubella immunization be an enrollment requirement for students enrolling in West Virginia state colleges and universities. In the interest of student health, Bluefield State College, at the request of and in collaboration with the West Virginia State Department of Health, establishes the following immunization policy with regard to measles and rubella. 

SECTION 3.                   PURPOSE 

3.1       The primary purpose of a mandatory measles and rubella immunization requirement for college students is to prevent the introduction and spread of these vaccine preventable diseases among students in state colleges. Accordingly, these regulations require proof of immunity as a requirement for enrollment in Bluefield State College. The Admissions Officers shall administer the requirement as an aspect of the enrollment and registration process. 

SECTION 4.         IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENT

4.1       All students attending Bluefield State College who were born after January 1, 1957, except those exempted by this rule, shall be required to provide proof of immunity to measles and rubella. To facilitate the implementation of this rule, the student shall be requested to provide proof of immunity on or before the date of enrollment. The student shall have proof of immunity by the following semester or will not be permitted to enroll in classes. 

4.2       In lieu of an immunization record signed by a physician, this requirement is satisfied if the institution receives an official record of the permanent health record with report of immunization transmitted to it from a high school located in West Virginia. 

4.3       Immunity to measles and rubella is defined as follows: 

4.3.1    Measles. 

4.3.1.a. The person was born before January 1, 1957; therefore, the person is considered exempt; or 

4.3.1.b. Measles vaccine was administered to the person after 1967 and was given after one year of age; or 

4.3.1.c. The person presents a report of immunity or a positive antibody test proving immunity; or 

4.3.1.d. The person presents a history of having had the disease signed by a physician. 

4.3.2    Rubella. 

4.3.2.a. The rubella vaccine was given after one year of age; or 

4.3.2.b. The person presents a report of immunity or a positive antibody test. 

4.3.2.c. History of disease is not acceptable. 

SECTION 5.         APPLICABILITY

5.1       This immunization requirement applies to all undergraduate students who are enrolling for the first time who are classified as full-time students. It also applies to all part-time newly enrolled students (those enrolled in fewer than 12 semester hours of coursework) who will be or are residing in college residence halls. 

5.2       This immunization requirement also applies to undergraduate students who transfer in from out-of-state, regardless of undergraduate grade level. 

SECTION 6.         EXEMPTIONS

6.1       The student may be exempted from proof of immunity or from the requirement to receive measles or rubella vaccine for three reasons: medical, religious, and student enrollment classification. 

6.2       Medical exemption: Students presenting a statement from a licensed physician which certifies that the immunization is or may be detrimental to a person's health shall be exempt. 

6.3       Religious exemption: If the bona fide religious belief of the student is contrary to these immunization requirements, the student shall be exempt. Upon submission of a written, signed and notarized statement of the bona fide religious beliefs and opposition to the immunization requirements, the person may attend college without proof of immunity. 

6.4       Student classification: Part-time students (those enrolled in fewer than twelve credit hours of course work) not residing in college residence halls and undergraduate students enrolled in off-campus programs are exempt. 

SECTION 7.         DOCUMENTATION

7.1       The acceptable proof of compliance would be a document which has been filled out and signed by a licensed physician. The document should include the month, day, and year the vaccine was administered. 

7.2       Acceptable proof may also be provided by the high school attended. If a college receives an official copy of a student's health record with report of immunization transmitted to the college from a high school, the requirement is satisfied. 

SECTION 8.         ENFORCEMENT

8.1       The student shall be required to present proof of immunity on or before the date of enrollment to the Admissions Officer. 

8.2       If a certificate of immunization is not received on or before the date of enrollment, the college shall present a notice of deficiency to the student. The student must have the required proof of immunity on or before the date of enrollment for the next semester or the student shall not be permitted to attend the school until the required immunization, proof of immunity, or documentation of approved exemption has been provided. 

SECTION 9.         OBTAINING the REPORT of IMMUNITY 

9.1       The student shall be informed of this requirement by the Admissions Officer as an aspect of the enrollment process. 

9.2       The student and Bluefield State College should make reasonable effort to obtain proof of immunity from: 

9.2.1    The family physician or from appropriate records signed by a physician or other community health provider. 

9.2.2    The high school attended. The health record with report of immunization from any high school shall be accepted as proof of immunization. 

9.3       The institution will advise the student to request that the student's high school health record be transmitted to the institution at the time that the high school transmits the final official transcript of grades to the college. The institution should also communicate with high schools for this health records as it does to obtain official transcripts of grades.  

SECTION 10.       OBTAINING and ADMINISTERING IMMUNIZATIONS 

10.1     Students who are unable to provide proof of immunity may obtain the required immunization free of charge. 

10.2     The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and county health agencies in cooperation with Bluefield State will provide the immunization free of charge. 

10.2.1  Students may obtain the required immunization free of charge at any county health agency which administers immunizations. 

10.2.2  The State Department of Health and Human Resources will also provide vaccine to college student health centers free of charge upon request of the institution. 

10.2.3  Only those student health centers with a physician in attendance may administer these vaccines. If vaccines are to be administered, the college student health center must assure that the student is advised of appropriate medical contraindications to the immunizations. The student health physician should provide the medical exemption statement when appropriate. 

SECTION 11.       RECORDS and REPORTS

11.1     The college shall maintain on file immunization records for all persons not exempted from this requirement for immunity to measles and rubella. These records shall be open to examination by the State Department of Health and Human Resources during normal business hours. 

11.2     When a person transfers to another college, the transferring institution shall, upon appropriate request, send a copy of the person's immunization record at no cost to the college to which the person has transferred. 

11.3     The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has agreed upon request to provide college student health centers with official health and immunization records for the purpose of recording immunizations which they might administer.