Union Institute and University

Student Leave Of Absence

Effective July 1, 2014, as revised

Policy

Union Institute & University does not require that students or employees be immunized against any communicable diseases. UI&U students living outside the U.S. may be required to provide proof of immunization in order to qualify for temporary visas.

There are, at present, no federal or state regulations requiring immunization of adult citizens (i.e., individuals age 18 or older), although the National Immunization Program recommends certain vaccinations for adults. An overview of regulations in those states where UI&U operates academic centers follows. State regulations apply only to the locations where UI&U operates permanent academic centers.

Ohio

The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 1713.55 states that an institution of higher education shall not permit a student to reside in on-campus housing unless the student discloses whether s/he has been vaccinated against meningococcal disease and hepatitis B by submitting a meningitis and hepatitis B vaccination status statement. Because UI&U has no on-campus housing, this statute does not apply to UI&U.

Vermont

Pursuant to 18 V.S.A. Section 1123, the Vermont Department of Health has promulgated regulations establishing minimum immunization requirements for attendance at public or independent postsecondary schools. Vt. Code. R. 13 140 021. The regulations exempt students whose instruction is provided in a non-campus-based setting like UI&U’s centers; therefore, the regulations do not apply to UI&U students.

Florida

Florida’s Title 48, Chapter 1006, Section 1006.69 has a two-part requirement. The first requirement that colleges and universities obtain documentation of student vaccination does not apply to UI&U, as UI&U students do not reside in on-campus housing. The statute also requires that postsecondary educational institutions “provide detailed information concerning the risks associated with meningococcal meningitis and hepatitis B and the availability, effectiveness, and known contraindications of any required or recommended vaccine to every student …who has been accepted for admission.” This required information is included below.

California

Subject to certain exceptions, California Health and Safety Code Section 120390.5 requires first-time enrollees at California public universities who are 18 years of age or younger to provide proof of immunization against Hepatitis B as a condition of enrollment. This statute is not applicable to UI&U as it is a private institution.

Information on Meningococcal Disease

Adapted from information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by bacteria. It is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children two-18 years of age in the United States. Meningococcal bacteria can cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) or sepsis (an infection of the bloodstream). Symptoms of meningitis include stiff neck, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, confusion and drowsiness. Symptoms of sepsis include fever, shock and coma. Death from sepsis can occur within 12 hours of the beginning of the illness – meningococcal disease can be a rapid and overwhelming infectious disease. For these reasons, meningococcal infections that occur in childcare centers, elementary schools, high schools, and colleges often cause panic in the community. Every year about 2,600 people in the United States are infected with meningococcal. Ten to 15 percent of these people die, in spite of treatment with antibiotics. Of those who live, another 10 percent lose their arms or legs, become deaf, have problems with their nervous systems, become mentally retarded or suffer seizures or strokes.

How do you catch a meningococcal infection?

Usually meningococcal infection is acquired after intimate contact with an infected person. Intimate contact includes kissing, sharing toothbrushes or eating utensils, or frequently eating or sleeping in the same dwelling as an infected individual.

Who is at risk?

Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but it is most common in infants less than one year of age and in people with certain medical conditions. College freshmen, particularly those who live in dormitories, have a slightly increased risk of getting meningococcal disease. The risk for meningococcal disease among non-freshman college students is similar to that for the general population; however, the vaccine is safe and effective and therefore can be provided to non-freshmen undergraduates who want to reduce their risk for meningococcal disease.

What can be done to decrease risk?

The meningococcal vaccine can prevent four types of meningococcal disease. These include two of the three most common types in the United States. Meningococcal vaccine cannot prevent all types of the disease, but it does help to protect people who might become sick if they do not get the vaccine. The vaccine is available through your physician.

What about the vaccine?

A vaccine, like any other medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as allergic reactions. You should not get the meningococcal vaccine if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine. Some people who get the vaccine may develop redness or pain where the shot was given, and a small percentage of people develop a fever. These symptoms usually last for one or two days. The risk of the meningococcal vaccine causing serious harm is extremely small. Getting meningococcal vaccine is safer than getting the disease. People who are mildly ill at the time the shot is scheduled and women who are pregnant can still get the vaccine. Those with moderate or severe illnesses should usually wait until they recover. Discuss the timing, risks, and benefits of vaccination with your health care provider. For more information about the meningococcal vaccine, access the Vaccine Information Sheet at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).