About Medical Immunization Compliance
Compliance requirements are upheld by several BU Departments. Student Health Services (SHS) manages the Medical Immunization Compliance requirements mandated by the State of Massachusetts to protect you, your peers, and the health of the public. Once you are compliant you will be able to register for and attend classes and healthcare rotations.
Do I need to be compliant with immunizations?
Boston University policy and Massachusetts Immunization Laws 105 CMR 220.00 and 105 CMR 220.600 require all full-time students, all full-time and part-time Health Science and International Students (including Visiting Scholars and Foreign Exchange Students), to meet the state of Massachusetts immunization requirements. Students must provide proof of immunization compliance before the start of classes. Failure to submit proof of immunizations will result in an compliance hold.
What are the documentation requirements for immunizations?
Documentation for immunizations is part of the incoming health requirements initially and may also be required in the future to maintain immunization compliance while on campus. All documents must be in English (or officially translated into English) and have the following:
- The month, day, and year of the immunization must be provided.
- Such statements as “received as a child”, “records were lost” or “up to date” are not acceptable.
- All immunization records must be signed by a physician or designee or be copies of original immunization records.
- The only circumstances under which a student may be exempt from submitting proof of immunizations are as follows:
- A physician certifies that a medical condition precludes immunization.
- The student states in writing that the required immunizations would conflict with his/her religious beliefs.
Please visit our immunization vaccine page for more information regarding specific immunization vaccines and their requirements.
When does Immunization compliance start?
Immunization compliance starts when you officially matriculate at the university and register for your first classes. This compliance requirement will continue throughout your tenure at Boston University and the status of compliance may change. This means students may fall in and out of compliance at various times throughout the year because some immunizations expire or new requirements are added by the State of Massachusetts. You will not receive notification if you go from compliant to non-compliant, so you should always review your medical immunization compliance status before registering for classes.
For example, a student registers for the fall semester and was compliant at the time of registration, but became non-compliant due to an expired immunization mid-semester. As a result, the student will not be able to add/drop or register for upcoming semester classes at BU until their immunization record has been updated and submitted to Student Health Services.
How to check your status?
First, view your immunization records under the Student Link Compliance page.
- If there is an “N,” you are non-compliant and should select the link for “missing immunization shots” and either make an appointment to receive your missing immunizations or provide proof to confirm you have already received the missing immunizations. The last section named “Compliance” will show you what immunizations are needed be compliant.
- If there is a “Y” under “Medical Immunization Status,” you are compliant for immunizations, but may be non-compliant for another reason not related to immunizations. In this case, you should follow the instructions and contact the appropriate university department.
What immunizations are required? How do I submit proof or receive them?
If you are a new incoming or transfer student, please visit our Health Requirements Guide to complete the health requirements for your program or school; this includes immunization compliance.
If you are a continuing student from a previous semester, please see the “How can I become compliant?” section below for instructions.
How can I become compliant? Can’t register?
You have a few options if you are not compliant due to immunization status.
- Incoming and transferring students are required to complete their health requirements, which includes immunizations before arriving on campus. Please visit the Health Requirements Guide for assistance with this process.
- Existing students and new students can get immunizations at one of our campus-wide immunization clinics. Please see the SHS calendar for the updated immunization clinic schedule and locations. If you would rather make an appointment to get your immunizations at SHS, Patient Connect gives you online secure access to schedule an appointment for immunizations, or you can call 617-353-3575 to schedule an appointment during business hours.
- If you have proof of immunizations and would like to submit this information to SHS to update your records, please upload these to us in Patient Connect under Forms and Immunization Upload.
Is there a grace period?
Incoming and transfer students new to Boston University have a grace period, allowing for more time to fulfill their immunization compliance requirements. This grace period ends seven days after the first day of classes for each semester. However, we highly recommend immunization requirements be fulfilled prior to arrival to campus.
Can I submit a waiver?
Immunization requirement waivers can only be granted under two circumstances listed below. For no other reasons can waivers be granted.
- Religious waiver: A religious waiver is provided by the student documenting their conflict with the requirement due to their religious beliefs. This is then reviewed with a medical provider at SHS, an appointment must be scheduled by the student.
- Medical Waiver: Physician certification that immunizations are contraindicated due to a prior adverse reaction or current medical condition.
*Due to current events regarding the Novel Coronavirus, a temporary immunization compliance waiver can be placed on the account of any student who cannot meet requirements before the start of the Fall 2020 registration period. This compliance waiver, available only for a limited time, can be requested using a secure message in Patient Connect. Please see the instructions below for this process.
To request a Temporary Immunization Compliance Waiver:
1. Login to Patient Connect.
2. In the menu on the left, select Messages.
3. Select New Message, and then “Request for Temporary Immunization Compliance“.
4. Read the requirements outlined within the message, select the checkbox acknowledging that you understand, and click Submit.