IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR ATTENDANCE

Vaccine-preventable diseases are a major health concern on college campuses.  Since immunization is widely regarded as one of the world’s most effective tools for protecting public health, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has established a pre-entrance Health Immunization Policy for all new incoming students. Failure to comply with health policies will result in an administrative HOLD on the student’s record, which will block the student’s ability to register, attend classes, or receive grades.  Documentation of the following is required prior to registration for classes:

  1. NYS Public Health Law 2165 requires post-secondary students to show immunity to Measles, Mumps and Rubella (2 doses of MMR, or equivalent for each disease, as outlined below - or documented physician-diagnosed disease is acceptable for Measles or Mumps.) Persons born prior to January 1, 1957 are exempt from this requirement.
  2. NYS Public Health Law 2167 requires post-secondary institutions to distribute information about meningococcal disease and vaccination to students enrolled for at least six (6) semester hours (or the equivalent per semester), or parents/guardians of students under the age of 18. The institution is required to maintain a record of the following for each student:

a.     Certificate of Immunization for meningococcal meningitis disease within the last five (5) years; or

b.    A response to receipt of meningococcal meningitis disease and vaccine information signed by the student or the student's parent or guardian;

AND, EITHER

c.     Self-reported or parent recall of meningococcal meningitis immunization within the past five (5) years; or

d.     An acknowledgement of meningococcal disease risks and refusal of meningococcal meningitis immunization signed by the student or student's parent or guardian.

  1. Varicella/Chicken Pox – proof of vaccine series, positive (reactive) antibody titer or history of disease.
  2. Hepatitis B Vaccine (traditional 3 doses, 2 doses of Recombivax or 4 accelerated doses of Twinrix)

 

ACCEPTABLE PROOF OF IMMUNITY:

MEASLES:

Students born on or after January 1, 1957 must submit proof of immunity to measles. One of the following is required:

  • The student must submit proof of two doses of live measles vaccine: the first dose given no more than 4 days prior to the student's first birthday and the second at least 28 days after the first dose; or
  • The student must submit serological proof of immunity to measles. This means the demonstration of measles antibodies through a blood test performed by an approved medical laboratory; or
  • The student must submit a statement from the diagnosing physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner that the student has had measles disease; or
  • The student must submit proof of honorable discharge from the armed services within 10 years from the date of application to the institution. The proof of honorable discharge shall qualify as a certificate enabling a student to attend the institution pending actual receipt of immunization records from the armed services; or
  • If a student is unable to access his/her immunization record from a health care provider or previous school, documentation that proves the student attended primary or secondary school in the United States after 1980 will be sufficient proof that the student received one dose of live measles vaccine. If this option is used, the second dose of measles vaccine must have been administered within one year of attendance at a post-secondary institution.

MUMPS:

Students born on or after January 1, 1957 must submit proof of immunity to mumps. Only one of the following is required:

  • The student must submit proof of one dose of live mumps vaccine given no more than 4 days prior to the student's first birthday; or
  • The student must submit serological proof of immunity to mumps. This means the demonstration of mumps antibodies through a blood test performed by an approved medical laboratory; or
  • The student must submit a statement from the diagnosing physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner that the student has had mumps disease; or
  • The student must submit proof of honorable discharge from the armed services within 10 years from the date of application to the institution. The proof of honorable discharge shall qualify as a certificate enabling a student to attend the institution pending actual receipt of immunization records from the armed services.

RUBELLA:

Students born on or after January 1, 1957 must submit proof of immunity to rubella. Only one of the following is required:

  • The student must submit proof of one dose of live rubella vaccine given no more than 4 days prior to the student's first birthday; or
  • The student must submit serological proof of immunity to rubella. This means the demonstration of rubella antibodies through a blood test performed by an approved medical laboratory (Since rubella rashes resemble rashes of other diseases, it is impossible to diagnose reliably on clinical grounds alone. Serological evidence is the only permissible alternative to immunization.); or
  • The student must submit proof of honorable discharge from the armed services within 10 years from the date of application to the institution. The proof of honorable discharge shall qualify as a certificate enabling a student to attend the institution pending actual receipt of immunization records from the armed services.

For more specific disease information regarding measles, mumps, rubella and meningococcal disease, refer to the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.state.ny.us/ or the Centers for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov/.

OTHER IMMUNIZATIONS/HEALTH INFORMATION

ADVICE OF ELEVATED RISKS FOR CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS (LAB SAFETY) FORM

Conducting activities in a laboratory might put some persons at elevated risk sufficient to warrant their exclusion from the laboratory or other appropriate accommodation.  Therefore, all new students are required to sign a form related to the risks of conducting laboratory activities.   If an individual feels that they may be at elevated risk, they should discuss the issue with their physician or a laboratory instructor to request an accommodation if needed.  The form will be made available electronically to all new students.

Although not required, the following are strongly recommended:

  • TETANUS, DIPHTHERIA, PERTUSSIS (DTP) - within the last 10 years
  • TUBERCULOSIS (TB) SCREENING – All incoming students should complete a risk assessment questionnaire that will identify those who have not been at increased risk for exposure to TB.  Students who have one or more identified risk factors for exposure to TB should have a tuberculin skin or blood test.
  • SEASONAL INFLUENZA VACCINATION:  It is recommended that all students obtain an annual flu vaccination, dependent on national vaccine supply.

CYTOTECHNOLOGY PROGRAM CANDIDATES

A vision exam (including a color blindness test) is required for all Cytotechnology students. The exam needs to be signed and completed by a physician or ophthalmology technician.

IN PROCESS

A student is considered “in process” and allowed to attend classes if he/she has presented documentation that shows the student is in the process of completing the immunization requirements of PHL Section 2165.  To be "in process" the student must have received at least one dose of live measles virus vaccine, have complied with the requirements for mumps and rubella, and have an appointment to return to a health practitioner for the second dose of measles if this appointment is scheduled no more than 90 days since administration of the first dose of measles virus vaccine. 

A student can be considered in process of complying with PHL Section 2167 regarding meningococcal disease until a 30 day grace period has elapsed. The 30 day grace period may be extended to 60 days if a student can show a good faith effort to comply with PHL Section 2167. If a student is granted the extended grace period, then exclusion begins immediately after the 60 days elapses.

IMMUNIZATION DOCUMENTATION

Immunization documentation should be prepared by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner, and shall specify the vaccines and give the dates of administration. It may also show physician-verified history of disease, laboratory evidence of immunity or medical exemption. This includes documents such as a certificate from a physician, a copy of the immunization portion of the cumulative health record from a prior school, a migrant health record, a union health record, a community health plan record, a signed immunization transfer card, a military dependent's "shot" record, the immunization portion of a passport, an immunization record card signed by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner, or an immunization registry record.

 

EXEMPTIONS FROM IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS

MEDICAL EXEMPTION

If a licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, or licensed midwife caring for a pregnant student certifies in writing that the student has a health condition which is a valid contraindication to receiving a specific vaccine, then a permanent or temporary (for resolvable conditions such as pregnancy) exemption may be granted. This statement must specify those immunizations which may be detrimental and the length of time they may be detrimental. Provisions need to be made to review records of temporarily exempted persons periodically to see if contraindications still exist. In the event of an outbreak, medically exempt individuals should be protected from exposure. This may include exclusion from classes or campus.

 

RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION

A student may be exempt from vaccination if, in the opinion of the institution, that student (or student's parent(s) or guardian of those less than 18 years old) holds genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practice of immunization. The student requesting exemption may or may not be a member of an established religious organization. Requests for exemptions must be written and signed by the student if 18 years of age or older, or parent(s), or guardian if under the age of 18. The institution may require supporting documents. It is not required that a religious exemption statement be notarized. In the event of an outbreak, religious exempt individuals should be protected from exposure. This may include exclusion from classes or campus.

NOTE:  Rotation sites hosting experiential education students may deny a student’s participation in the experiential program because of insufficient immunization documentation.  If this is the case, the student would be scheduled for another similar rotation, based on availability.

 

EXCLUSION

"Exclusion" is the process whereby noncompliant students are not permitted continued attendance at the institution; whereas, "attendance" means the student's physical presence on campus (i.e., exclusion from classes, dorm residence and other curricular and extra-curricular campus activities). Exclusion should begin immediately after a 30 day grace period as stipulated under PHL Section 2165 (measles, mumps and rubella requirements), or after 45 days if a student is from out of state or from another country and can show a good faith effort to comply, or when a disease outbreak occurs.

For institutions to be in compliance with PHL Section 2167 (meningococcal meningitis response form), exclusion of students should begin immediately after the 30 day grace period elapses. The 30 day grace period may be extended to 60 days if a student can show a good faith effort to comply with PHL Section 2167. If a student is granted the extended grace period, then exclusion begins immediately after the 60 days elapse.

STUDENTS ON CLINICAL ROTATION

Clinical rotations are designed to build on students’ academic base and provide them with a wide exposure to various pharmacy practice/clinical laboratory experience in order for students to further develop skills in making independent judgments and integrating fundamental knowledge into clinical applications.  The following is required for all students who will be participating in a clinical rotation as part of their college degree.  Documentation must be provided to the Office of Experiential Education annually, prior to starting the supervised clinical experience. 

ALL students who will be participating in clinical rotations must have the documentation below (TB screening, PE, and seasonal influenza vaccination) completed within a specific timeframe prior to the end of the academic year preceding the start of rotations (timeframe will be communicated to students at an appropriate time during the academic year.)  PharmD candidates will need to complete this documentation annually immediately prior to starting IPPE rotations through the start of APPE rotations.  Clinical Lab Sciences and Cytotechnology students will only need to complete the documentation once at the end of the academic year prior to starting rotations.  The dates MUST be adhered to in order to ensure the documentation remains in effect through the duration of the ensuing rotation year (TB screening and physical exam information must be current within one [1] calendar year of the rotation end date.)

TUBERCULOSIS (TB) INFECTION SCREENING (TUBERCULIN SKIN TEST [TST]/MANTOUX or IGRA):

  • If your TB screening result is positive, you must receive a chest x-ray and provide the College with documentation of both the screening results and the x-ray report, as well as any follow-up treatment you receive.
  • If you have had a positive TB screening in the past, you need to provide a copy of those results, along with a copy of a negative chest x-ray report, and any follow-up treatment you received.
  • Those excluded from TB screening due to prior positive reaction or past disease must be evaluated during their annual physical exam for active signs of the disease.

 

PHYSICAL EXAM:  An annual physical exam, valid for a 12 month period, is required.

SEASONAL INFLUENZA VACCINATION: 

A seasonal flu vaccination is required annually in the Fall (vaccinations are typically available starting in August each season) for all Clinical Lab Sciences students, Cytotechnology students and students in their professional years of the PharmD curriculum.

RECEIVING VACCINATIONS

It is the obligation of the student to complete required immunizations/proof of immunity prior to starting classes.  Due to insurance regulations, students should go through their primary care physician to do so, if possible. 

Please note that Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences does not administer immunizations, blood tests or titers.

For further information and questions regarding immunization requirements, please contact the Office of Experiential Education at 518-694-7277, Room 108A, O’Brien Building, Albany Campus.

ADDITIONAL ROTATION REQUIREMENTS

Some rotation sites have additional requirements that must be documented prior to starting that specific rotation (e.g. antibody titer as opposed to proof of vaccination; drug screen; background check). These additional requirements would be documented in the CoreELMS database system (for pharmacy students), as well as communicated to the student in advance by Experiential Education staff.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the requirements are met prior to commencement of the rotation and will also be at the student’s expense (except when facilitated by the rotation site.)  If the additional requirements are not met prior to start of their experience, the student will not be allowed to begin the rotation until they have been fulfilled.  Failure to provide sufficient documentation prior to rotations puts a student at risk for being removed from rotation.  If a student is removed for this reason, he/she will be rescheduled for a later rotation and placed at any available rotation site (not necessarily the choice of the student).  This reschedule will incur a $250 fee, which is at the student’s expense.

HIPAA, BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS and INFO SECURITY TRAININGS

Students participating in experiential education leading to a career as a pharmacist must complete a Health Privacy (HIPAA), an OSHA  Bloodborne Pathogens and an Info Security training during their P1 year as a component of the Foundations of Pharmacy course, and annually thereafter. Students will complete the online trainings through The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program), and is provided free of charge to students.  If a student does not complete one of the above requirements initially (during the Foundations of Pharmacy course), they will not receive their assignments for IPPE rotations; in successive years, if the trainings are not completed by the deadline set, students will not be allowed to start their rotations.

CPR OR BASIC LIFE SUPPORT CERTIFICATION

All pharmacy students are required to obtain CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) or BLS (Basic Life Support) certification before starting clinical rotations.  Students must have valid CPR or BLS certification before they begin their IPPE rotations and will be required to keep their certification valid throughout the duration of their APPE rotations.  All certifications MUST include a hands-on skills portion (training cannot be done online only.)

 

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NON-ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS FOR IPPES AND APPES

Prior to any rotation, students must register as a pharmacy intern in the state that the rotation will be performed, if applicable.

Prior to APPEs, students must have successfully completed their IPPE requirements.

Prior to IPPEs and APPEs, students must have the following:

  • A copy of personal immunization records, which is on file at the College (in the event a site requests to see them).
  • Proof of a recent physical exam, completed within a specific timeframe prior to the end of the academic year preceding the start of rotations (timeframe will be communicated to students at an appropriate time during the academic year.)
  • Tuberculosis Screening test (PPD skin test or IGRA blood test) - Students must provide medical documentation showing results of a negative TB skin or blood test, or chest x-ray report following a positive test result. The screening must be completed within a specific timeframe prior to the end of the academic year preceding the start of rotations (timeframe will be communicated to students at an appropriate time during the academic year.)
  • CPR or Basic Life Support Certification, valid for the duration of all rotations
  • Seasonal influenza (flu) vaccination

Some clinical sites may have their own requirements as well, including a criminal background check, a drug screen or an antibody titer (laboratory blood test, which indicates proof of immunity, as opposed to providing proof of having received the vaccine), etc.

Specific requirements, if any, would be noted in the rotation site’s record within the CoreELMS database, and would be communicated to the appropriate students via email in advance of the rotation by Experiential Education staff.

Institutions hosting experiential education rotations may deny a student’s participation in the experiential program because of the inability to produce an appropriate health clearance, which could result in delayed graduation or in the inability to graduate from the program.