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College Immunization Law for Massachusetts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health Laws require that all full-time college students (12 credits or more), all students attending college while on a visa, and all college students enrolled in Health Sciences (regardless of year of birth) must provide proof of immunizations for the following:

  • Two doses of  Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine given at least one month apart given at or after 12 months of age
  • A booster of Tetanus (Tdap)
  • Three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Two doses of Varicella vaccine

In the case of Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, or Varicella, the student may present laboratory proof of immunity. High School immunization documents are acceptable, as well as physicians or clinic records. To facilitate compliance with the Massachusetts College Immunization Law, Student Records provides information about Board of Health Offices and other agencies that offer immunizations. For assistance with this requirement, please contact Student Records at 978-556-3715.

Guidance for Postsecondary Institutions that Do Not Provide or License Housing

Postsecondary schools that do not provide or license housing are required to disseminate information regarding the risk of meningococcal disease and the availability, effectiveness and risks of meningococcal vaccine. Information approved or provided by MDPH must be provided to a parent/legal guardian or to a student 18 years of age or older. The document titled Meningococcal Disease and College Students must be used for all newly-enrolled full and part-time students attending postsecondary institutions that do not provide or license housing (105 CMR 221.300).

Meningococcal Disease and Vaccination Recommendations

While not required, as of October 2010, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends anyone up to 21 years of age who is entering college receive a dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine within 5 years before enrollment, particularly if they are new residential students. College students who do not live in campus-related housing and want to reduce their risk for meningococcal disease may also choose to be vaccinated, though it is not required.