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Student/Employee Health

FAQs

General Questions

Q—What would happen to me if I don’t complete the health clearance requirements?

AEvery incoming student, whether new to WesternU, repeating or returning from a leave of absence, is required to comply with the health clearance requirements. If you do not complete these requirements, a registration hold will be placed, or in extreme cases, withdrawal of your being accepted to attend WesternU may occur.

Q—If my healthcare provider writes a note stating I have had a communicable disease, is this acceptable?

ANo. Documentation of select communicable diseases that were “physician diagnosed” and not confirmed through blood tests, are no longer accepted as evidence of immunity. Because of this, the required vaccine preventable diseases that have blood tests to determine if immunity exists or not(referred to as titers), are required for hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.

Q—If I have had the Hepatitis B disease and my physician states I do not need to have the Hepatitis B vaccination series, what should I ask my physician to include in the health records and documents sent back to Western University?

AHave your physician provide the lab test results that confirm a prior Hepatitis B diagnosis (see form D for the additional required serum titers) and include a note about the status of your Hepatitis B disease [for example, “continue to monitor viral loads every 6 months”] on the History and Physical examination form your physician completes. (This would also apply to those persons who have a “native immunity” to Hepatitis B.)

Q—What if I have a health condition that is a contraindication to receiving a particular vaccination?

Aa letter from your healthcare provider attesting to this contraindication will be acceptable. However, if your current health status is such that a particular immunization is temporarily contraindicated, you will still be responsible for obtaining that immunization as soon as your health issue has resolved and prior to starting any clinical rotation.

Q—What if my religious beliefs do not allow me to be immunized?

AThere is no religious exemption from the University immunization requirements. One should explore with his/her health care provider for the availability of vaccine formulations that do not involve the use of blood or select animal products, or document immunity as a result of prior infection. The University’s commitment to minimize the potential harm to patients or colleagues that you may encounter in your future career is of paramount concern to the university, so that only a permanent medical contraindication to vaccination will exempt a prospective student from the University’s immunization requirements.

Q—Can I participate in clinical rotations if I am still updating/completing the required vaccines and TB clearance?

AIn order for you to be able to start your clinical rotations you must have had at least 2 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine, completed the MMR and varicella series, as well as have a current TB clearance and the current influenza vaccination. You must provide proof that you have completed all of the communicable disease clearance requirements or you will be removed from clinical rotations and will not be allowed to register for the next semester.

Q—If I am pregnant, can I participate in my clinical rotations without having completed the required vaccinations?

AA pregnant student can receive a temporary medical exemption and still participate in some clinical rotations. However, it is strongly recommended that you work closely with your faculty advisor to determine if it is permitted by the clinical site you would be going to as well as your obstetrician.

Q—Do I need to get a PPD if I have a history of a positive PPD?

ANo. You are required to obtain a chest x-ray (x-ray cannot be more than 6 months old from the time of your submitting your health clearance forms) and complete the TB symptoms checklist included in this packet. We do not need the actual chest x-ray film, we only need the radiologist’s written report.

Q—How long will it take to process my health clearance forms?

AYou will need to allow at least 5 working days from the date we receive ALL of your required health clearance forms. If you have not received a confirmation email from the Student Health Office by the end of the 5th business day, you can contact us. Note: all forms are processed on a first come, first served basis.

Q—When is the deadline for submission of all my health clearance forms/documents?

A—Please refer to your college’s catalogue or acceptance letter you received for this information.

Immunizations and Tuberculosis Clearance

Q—Why do I need to submit my immunization records and serum titers?

AMany clinical rotation sites that our student’s rotate through require copies of both your immunization records and serum titer results. When you are preparing to start at a clinical rotation site that requires this information, you will just need to contact the Student Health Office and the information can be provided immediately instead of days or weeks later (If you are having trouble locating your immunization records, you may want to check with your high school/undergraduate college/university Health Center to see if they have a copy of your vaccination history).

Q—If my healthcare provider writes a note stating the student “is up-to-date on all vaccines,” is this acceptable?

ANo. Documentation requirements for your health records must show the specific dates you received the vaccines. Health records may be in the form of original vaccination records (or a clear copy) or a letter from the healthcare provider on their letterhead or printed prescription (no emails allowed) stating the vaccine name and dates each was administered. The letter must be signed by the healthcare provider. We will not accept school records, family member statements or baby book entries.

Q—If I get behind in a vaccination series (i.e., hepatitis B, MMR or varicella), what should I do?

AYou will pick up where you left off and complete the vaccination series. For example, you received 2 of the 3 vaccinations for hepatitis B but you have not received the 3rd dose of the vaccine. If it has been less than 5 years since you started the series, then you can go ahead and just receive the final dose. If more than 5 years have lapsed, it is recommended that with some vaccines you start the entire series over. Your healthcare provider can help evaluate what you should do. If you can show you have started a vaccine series, you will be allowed to register for your first semester, but until you provide proof you have completed the series, you will not be allowed to register for any subsequent semesters/classes.

Q—If I received a vaccine dose earlier than the minimum interval recommended, is this acceptable?

ANo it is not. The dose of vaccine is invalid and must be re-administered after the minimum interval has been met. For example, the hepatitis B minimum intervals are as follows: Dose 1 is administered. Dose 2 should be separated from dose 1 by at least one month (4 weeks or 28 days). Dose 3 should be separated from dose 2 by at least 2 months (8 weeks) AND from dose 1 by at least 4 months (16 weeks).

Q—Will vaccines interfere with my TB skin test (commonly known as a PPD) results?

ASome vaccines may. For example, the MMR vaccine may interfere with PPD results (may have a false negative result in someone who actually has an infection with TB) if the vaccine is administered within 4-weeks of the PPD. However, the MMR vaccine can be administered at the same time and on the same day as the PPD. The hepatitis B, tetanus and rabies vaccines can be administered any time without interfering with PPD results.

Q—How do I know if my 1st PPD will be accepted or counted?

AIf you have not had a PPD in more than one year, you are required to complete the 2-Step PPD process before your complete TB clearance requirement has been met. The 2nd PPD must be administered at least 10-days from the 1st PPD being administered.

Q—If I am pregnant can I be vaccinated safely?

ASome vaccines can be administered safely during pregnancy. However, it is recommended that you consult with your obstetrician prior to receiving any vaccines.

Q—If I received the TB skin test at WesternU, can I have a healthcare provider at a non-WesternU clinical rotation site read the TB skin test results and document them?

AIf your clinical site is near the main campus in Pomona, then the answer is no. It must be read at WesternU and documentation must then be provided to the Student Health Office located on the Pomona campus. However, if your clinical rotation site is not near the main campus, you can have the TB skin test read by the Employee/Occupational Health nurse at the clinical facility you are rotating through. The results can be faxed to 909-706-3785 or scanned and emailed to stu- emphealth@westernu.edu

Q—Will WesternU accept a T-spot test for TB clearance?

AYes, but ONLY if you will be attending our Lebanon, Oregon campus.

Q—Can I just have a Quantiferon blood test for TB clearance?

ADue to state laws in California regarding healthcare worker TB clearance, we cannot accept this type of test result at this time.

If you are attending in Pomona, California, you must obtain a Tuberculosis Skin Test (aka, PPD).

If you are attending in Lebanon, Oregon, you can submit the blood test as part of your TB clearance requirements.

Q—I am healthy. Why should I be required to show that I have been immunized?

AAs members of the WesternU community, it is very important for all of us to be free from communicable diseases that can threaten those around us. Many of these diseases are preventable with appropriate vaccination. Also, in order for you to participate in your required clinical rotations, you must be able to show proof that you are not at risk for contracting a vaccine preventable communicable disease.

Q—If I received my second Hepatitis B vaccine later than recommended after the first vaccine, how soon after getting the second Hepatitis B vaccine can I receive the third and final Hepatitis B vaccine?

AIf you had the 2nd vaccine several months after the first one, you can receive your 3rd and final Hepatitis B vaccine 60-days after the 2nd vaccine. A serum blood titer is still required 30-days after vaccine number three.

Q—If I have completed 2 full Hepatitis B series (1 series consists of 3 vaccines) over a period of 6 months and my titer is still showing I have no immunity, do I need to receive another series?

ANo, because most likely you are a non-converter, however, you will need to provide us with the documentation showing that you have completed 2 entire Hepatitis B vaccination series and a current Hepatitis B Surface Ab, QN titer.

Titers

Q—What titers should I ask my physician/healthcare provider to order?

AHepatitis B, Surf AB QN; Measles AB IgG, EIA; Rubella Antibodies, IgG; Mumps Antibodies, IgG; Varicella IgG AB.

NOTE: the titer results MUST include the references ranges and the titers listed are the ONLY titer results we will accept.

Q—Can I get my blood drawn and sent for titer testing at WesternU? A—Yes. For your convenience you can go to the: 

                                Pomona, California Students

                            Western University Medical Center’s

795 E. Second Street, Suite 5              8686 Haven Avenue, Suite 200

       Pomona, CA 91766                       Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

             909-865-2565                                     909-706-3950

                  Lebanon, Oregon Students

              Samaritan Occupational Medicine

                 100 Mullins Drive, Suite B-2

                       Lebanon, OR 97355

                             541-451-7505

(If you choose to use the Pomona facility, you must make an appointment for both the physical and the lab titers. The day of your appointment, stop by the Student Health Office, located in the Business Center, Room 110 to obtain the order forms for the labs and/or chest x-ray).

You will have to pay a fee for the blood to be drawn and processed. It can take 7 days or more before the results are available.

You are responsible for payment. You cannot pay for this from your student account on campus. Please see the Student Immunization Fee Schedule attached at the end of this packet.

Q—What should I do if the blood titers show I am not immune to the vaccine preventable disease(s)?

AUnless you have a documented medical condition that contraindicates the administration of the vaccine(s), you may be required to be vaccinated/revaccinated for those diseases that you have no immunity against.

Q—When is a rabies titer needed?

If you are a veterinary medicine student who has already completed the rabies vaccination series more than 2 years ago (3 vaccines), you are required to have a rabies titer and submit the titer results along with the dates you received each of the rabies vaccine. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the recommended serum blood test for rabies is called rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT). No other rabies testing results will be accepted.

(CDC Rabies information: http://cdc.gov/rabies/specific_groups/doctors/serology.html )