Immunization Update 2019 for International Students

As you may be aware the United States and other countries are experiencing a resurgence in vaccine-preventable measles infections.  In 2000, the United States achieved a historic public health goal: the elimination of measles, defined by the absence of sustained transmission of this virus for more than 12 months: this was made possible by widespread immunizations. 

Unfortunately, localized measles outbreaks have been triggered by travel-related introductions of the virus by infected persons, with subsequent spread to those who are not vaccinated. It is extremely contagious, can have adverse consequences, and has a 90% chance of causing infection if you are not vaccinated. 

Conversely, if you are vaccinated appropriately you have a 99% chance of not getting measles. The American College Health Association strongly supports the use of vaccines to protect the health of our individual students and our campus community.

The CDC is the best resource for information on vaccines and vaccine-preventable illnesses.

Information:

  • Most American born citizens have received the vaccines, or are immune because they had the disease in early childhood. There has been no cases of measles reported in Ohio (as of May 2, 2019).
  • Immunizations offer safe and effective protection from vaccine-preventable diseases and out breaks.
    • The MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine is extremely effective in preventing these illnesses.
  • Lewermark Insurance, who provides the health care insurance for our international students, will pay for vaccines as part of your $250 yearly wellness benefit.

Highly recommended immunizations:

  • The University of Akron highly recommends the following immunizations:
    • MMR - given in 2 doses, at least 28 days apart.
    • Influenza vaccine - given annually in fall/winter.
    • Tdap (Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis) - given once as an adult with routine booster every 10 years.
    • Varicella (Chicken pox) - given in 2 doses at least 12 weeks apart.
    • Meningitis vaccines are highly recommended if living in a residence hall.
  • Other vaccines that are recommended:
    • Hepatitis A and B
    • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
    • Polio

Getting vaccinations:

  • Your best option is to seek these vaccines if available in your own country.
  • Even though you will have insurance coverage, the cost is still a factor if received here as the $250 yearly limited can be used quickly.
  • Student Health Services can help by either providing certain vaccines or giving you guidance on where they can be administered in community.

Not sure if you are vaccinated?

  • A way to prove your immunity is to have antibody titers determined.
  • This is done through a blood test. 
    • This can be done through Health Services but is not covered by your insurance. 
    • The cost is $25.00.
  • Symptoms of measles:
    • Starts with a fever-can be high
    • Cough, runny nose, and red eyes
    • Rash of tiny red spots that start at the head and spread downward to chest, abdomen and extremities.
    • If you develop these symptoms, please call Student Health Services at 330-972-7808 to request an appointment. You must wear a mask while in the clinic, and one will be provided.

Do you have children?