BU Today

Health & Wellness

A Shot in the Arm

Student Health Services offers immunization clinics at GSU and FitRec.


In 1985, 82 Boston University students were sequestered in a gymnasium for nearly two weeks, missing classes and unable to visit friends and family. They had the measles, a highly contagious virus that typically causes high fever, coughing, runny nose, conjunctivitis, and a rash. It is also entirely preventable through vaccination.

Today, Boston University tries to protect the community from diseases such as measles by making sure that all students comply with Massachusetts immunization laws and University policies, which require that students provide proof of immunization for measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, and hepatitis B. Newly enrolled students living on campus also are required to be immunized against meningitis. Students generally should have received all of these vaccinations before matriculation. 

“Most students, in all likelihood, have had the tetanus, diphtheria, and measles shots,” says David R. McBride, BU Student Health Services director. “Massachusetts is somewhat unique in that the state requires hepatitis B immunization.”

Students face serious consequences if they can’t show proof of the required immunizations. Starting this year, they will not be able to register for spring semester classes. Students will have until October 15 to comply with the policy.  

McBride emphasizes that the state laws, the University policies, and the new approach to enforcing them are “not intended to make peoples’ lives difficult.” Rather, they are in place to protect members of the University community from disease.

If students have a record of having received the required shots, they should send it to Student Health Services. For those unable to show proof of immunization, Student Health Services is offering a series of immunization clinics at two locations during the upcoming weeks:

George Sherman Union Link, 775 Commonwealth Ave.
October 1-3, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
October 17-19, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Fitness and Recreation Center, 915 Commonwealth Ave. (enter from Buick Street)
October 4, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
October 5, 1-6 p.m.
October 9, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 
October 11, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 
October 12, 1-6 p.m. 
October 15, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

The cost for the vaccines is $65 for measles, mumps, and rubella, $75 for hepatitis B, $75 for tetanus/diphtheria, and $125 for meningitis. The cost can be charged directly to a student account at all clinics. Students attending the clinics at FitRec may also pay by cash or credit card.

Further information about Boston University’s immunization requirements, the upcoming immunization clinics, and other campus health initiatives is available on the Student Health Services Web site.

Brian Sirman, a campus residence hall director, can be reached at bsirman@bu.edu.