As healthcare providers, pharmacy students are at risk for exposure to, and possible transmission of, vaccine-preventable diseases. Maintenance of immunity is therefore an essential aspect of prevention and infection control programs for pharmacists. Optimal use of immunizing agents will not only safeguard the health of students but also protects patients from being infected. This policy was developed to reduce the risk that students will contract or transmit vaccine-preventable diseases.
1. An Immunization Record Form will be mailed to all new and returning students and must be completed and returned to the School of Pharmacy by the date designated each year. The Student Records Manager will not process the student registration for classes if the Immunization Record Form has not been returned. On the form, the student must provide proof of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and polio, as: a) providing the month/year of vaccination; and/or b) by way of a positive blood titer (if the month/year of vaccination in unknown, with exception of hepatitis B, where titer is required). In addition, each student’s tuberculin status must be known prior to admission and updated on a yearly basis. Students whose tuberculin test is positive will be asked to provide the School with medical clearance to participate in clinical placements. All information is to be posted in the student’s individual CastleBranch profile. Additional vaccines or assessments for communicable diseases also may be required as guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. In order to ensure that students will be able to participate in required experiential learning at clinical practice sites external to the School, students must complete all of the immunization requirements before the start of classes. An updated Immunization Record Form may be required if needed to document changes since submission of the initial form. The immunization requirements will not be waived for any student who is not immunized. Affiliation agreements between the School and sites providing experiential rotations require that all students must comply with public health policies in effect for persons involved in patient care activities at those sites. Therefore, the School cannot place students in experiential learning sites without having documentation of the immunization history as outlined in Section 1, and such students will not be able to complete the course requirements for graduation from the Doctor of Pharmacy program.
3. Documentation of immunization, tuberculin testing and general health will allow the School of Pharmacy to answer queries from hospitals and other experiential learning sites that need to know a student’s status with respect to immunity to infectious diseases before caring for patients. Students will be required to sign a release allowing the School to share this information with experiential learning sites that request documentation.