Immunization FAQ

Who is required to turn in immunization records?

  • All students enrolled in colleges and universities are required to submit proof of immunization. 
  • A college student is defined by the State Board of Health as any student who is enrolled for one or more classes at a college or university and who is physically present at the institution.  Students who are auditing classes are included, but students who are taking only correspondence or off-campus classes are not included.

Are there any exceptions? Is anyone exempt from providing immunization records?

  • Medical Exemption - the Certificate of Immunization must be submitted with the statement of medical exemption signed by an advanced practice nurse or physician indicating that the physical condition of the student is such that immunizations would endanger his/her life or health or is medically contraindicated due to other medical conditions.
  • Religious Exemption - the Certificate of Immunization must be submitted with the statement of religious exemption signed by the parent(s) or emancipated student indicating that the student is an adherent to a religious belief whose teachings are opposed to immunizations.
  • Age Exemption - the MMR vaccination is not required for college students born before January 1, 1957.  Please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 970.943.2011 or stop by Taylor Hall 301 if this exemption applies to you.
  • If you are taking ONLY online courses or courses that are offered off-campus, you are exempt.  Please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 970.943.2011 or stop by Taylor Hall 301 if this exemption applies to you.  Remember, if you attend classes on-campus in the future, you will be required to provide your immunization records at that time.

What is required?

  • proof of 2 MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccinations.  These are usually given at ages 1 and 5.  The record must come from a doctor's clinic or be written on an immunization record that has been signed by a doctor.  A record provided from a previous school or insurance provider is also acceptable as long as it is on letterhead or has an official stamp or signature.
  • proof or waiver of the meningococcal vaccination.  Students living on-campus are REQUIRED to provide this.  Students living off-campus are still asked to provide either proof or a waiver of the vaccination.
  • Find the Colorado Certificate of Immunization HERE.

What is recommended?

  • the meningococcal vaccination is not required for Western students living off-campus, but we do ask that all students either waive the vaccination or provide the date they received the vaccination.  Students living in on-campus housing are required to provide either proof or a waiver for the vaccination.  Students living on-campus are highly encouraged to get the meningococcal vaccination. 
  • page 2 of the Colorado Certificate of Immunization has information about the meningococcal disease. 

I got these shots so long ago, I don’t even know where to look!

  • Try checking with the most recent school you’ve attended.  MMR’s are required in most states across the country to attend school.  Even if you’ve been out of high school for a while, high schools seem to keep their records for a long time.
  • Check with your doctor.  Even if you don’t have the same doctor you had as a child, chances are your records were transferred to your new doctor.
  • Check with your insurance provider.  Many insurance companies keep your immunization records online and they can be printed right from your account.  We will accept these records as long as it has been printed directly from the provider’s web page.
  • Check your personal immunization record.  If you have a hand written record that you take with you when you get an immunization, we can accept it as long as there is a signature or stamp of the doctor who administered the vaccination.
  • Some states have a database of records.  You can check to see if your home state has this type of service HERE.  Not all states are listed, but that does not mean that state does not have a database.  There may be databases for state counties as well, depending on the state.

I still can’t find my records.

  • It is not harmful to get re-immunized if you have had the MMR shots before.  If there is no record of the immunizations, we have to assume you never got them.  MMR shots are available at Gunnison Public Health (970.641.0209) for $14 per shot without insurance.  Under the Affordable Care Act, if you have insurance, immunizations are provided at no cost.
  • You could get a titer test at Gunnison Valley Hospital, which will show if you have been immunized before.  A positive titer would mean you have been immunized and you would only need to provide the positive titer results instead of proof of 2 MMR vaccinations.  A titer test is significantly more expensive than getting the shot again.

What is Meningitis?

  • Information about Meningitis and the Meningococcal Infection can be found HERE.

What happens if I don’t turn in my immunization record to Western?

  • Each semester, Western will send out an email to all students who are missing their Immunization Record or Selective Service form and missing items will also appear on the student's MyWestern checklist.  Students will need to provide their records to the Office of Student Affairs (Taylor Hall 301, 970.943.2011 phone, 970.943.2254 fax) before their registration date for the following semester.  A few days before registration begins, a HOLD will be place on student’s accounts that are non-compliant with the MMR requirement and/or the meningococcal requirement (as applies to living on or off-campus).  This HOLD will prevent students from registering for classes for the upcoming semester.  Once the student has provided the Office of Student Affairs with proof of 2 MMR vaccinations and/or the meningococcal vaccination, the hold will be removed and the student will be allowed to register.

I have a HOLD on my account, what should I do?

  • Call 970.943.2011 to check what kind of hold is on your account.
  • If the hold is for failure to turn in immunization records, you need to provide proof of 2 MMRs and/or the meningococcal vaccination.  Once the record is received, the hold will be removed.
  • Missing the Selective Service form will NOT result in a hold.