Immunization Compliance FAQs

I can't get my doctor to sign the Emerson College immunization verification form. What do I do?

You do not need your medical provider to sign the Emerson-specific form. The Center for Health and Wellness will accept other verifiable records (like a print out from the doctor's office, a prior school record, a department of public health document, immunization booklets, etc ). Please take a photo and upload it to the Health Portal. We will let you know if it is not acceptable. Don't forget you need to enter each DATE of vaccination or blood work in the Health Portal. Click on Immunizations, and Enter Dates.

Who needs to complete the pre-entrance health forms and meet immunization compliance?

  • All full-time students (>8 credits for undergraduates and >4 credits for graduate students) taking on-campus classes at Emerson College. Low-residential graduate programs are included.
  • Regardless of full-time or part-time:
    • All students on a visa must meet immunization compliance.
    • All CSD students must meet immunization compliance.
  • Part-time domestic students and 100 percent online students do NOT need to meet immunization compliance. If a student starts as part-time but becomes full-time, the student needs to meet compliance.
  • Speech@Emerson students submit their immunizations through the Castle Branch portal. Check with your advisor if you have questions.

Which vaccines are required? Why do students need to be vaccinated?

Per Commonwealth of Massachusetts regulation (105 CMR 220.600), Emerson College’ s pre-entrance required immunizations are listed on the Immunizations page.

School immunization requirements exist to protect students and members of their community from serious vaccine-preventable diseases by ensuring high vaccination rates.

Is a flu shot required?

A flu shot (seasonal influenza vaccine) is required by the Commonwealth of MA for all on-campus students. All students who do not meet compliance will be prevented from entering campus buildings and testing sites. All students are required to upload documentation of the flu shot to the Student Health Portal by December 31, 2020. 

When are health forms and immunizations due for incoming fall students?

July 15, 2020

How do I complete the health forms?

Log into the Student Health Portal at and click on “Medical Forms.” There are three (3) forms: Incoming Student Health History Form, TB Risk Assessment Questionnaire (to be completed AFTER JUNE 1), and a Telehealth Agreement. Since you do not need immunization information to complete the online health forms, this is expected to be completed by July 15.

How do I submit my immunizations?

Log into the Student Health Portal at

Part 1: Click on “Immunizations.” Using the Immunization Verification Form (or other verifiable records from your doctor’s office or another institution), enter the date of EACH vaccine. Alternatively, you can enter the date of a blood test and result to prove immunity. Hit “Submit” when complete.

Part 2: Click on “Uploads.” Make sure you have an electronic or scanned copy of your records and/or lab results. Taking a clear picture of a document is acceptable. All documents MUST have your name on them. Choose the type of document you are uploading, choose the file, and upload to the portal. The Center for Health and Wellness will verify each vaccine and/or blood work.

What if I’m having trouble getting my immunization records?

NOTE: You do not need your immunizations to complete the online medical forms. Everyone can take this step prior to the July 15 deadline. We HIGHLY encourage you to complete the forms even if you are having trouble getting immunization records.

The Immunization Verification Form is provided for your ease and guidance. Your primary care doctor’s office can fill the dates in and sign and/or stamp the form. However, we also accept other verifiable records. If you have a printed list of vaccinations with your doctor’s office letterhead or previous school record, that is acceptable. Contact your primary care doctor, previous school, state public health records (where applicable), or government health organization to request a copy of your immunization records. They can be sent to you or directly to us via fax (617-824-7897). Do NOT mail anything. You do NOT need to see the doctor in order to get your immunization records unless you need a vaccine. Oftentimes, the health office admin staff can send them to you or you can print them from their health portal.

Due to COVID-19, I cannot get immunizations. What do I do?

If you need additional immunizations, check with your primary care doctor, local health or urgent centers, and pharmacies to see what services are being currently offered. Many clinics and pharmacies are starting to resume routine and preventative care each day. We understand there are restrictions and limitations due to COVID-19 pandemic. Please submit any records (even if not complete) by July 15. Please do not wait until the last minute to request your immunizations as it may take a few weeks to process the request. It is expected that you will be fully immunized at the time of arrival.

My home country does not offer all of the required vaccines (e.g., Tdap). What do I do?

We understand that certain countries do not offer all of the required vaccines. When you arrive in the US, please use local medical resources to obtain missing vaccines. The CHW typically offers immunization clinics during Orientation week and throughout the semester. Please check the Orientation schedule or CHW website for more information to come. Please submit documentation of as many immunizations as you can prior to July 15.  Everyone is able to complete the required medical forms regardless of having their immunization records.

What happens if I miss the July 15 deadline?

Immunization compliance is a condition for enrollment at Emerson College. There will be a health hold on your student account, and it is possible that you may not be able to move into residence halls or attend classes. Eventually, a student would be de-enrolled in the College and lose on-campus housing (when applicable). Please get started on the process as soon as you can.

What do I do if I can’t finish a series of vaccinations before July 15?

The Center for Health and Wellness will provide an extension for students currently in the process of a vaccine course. The extension will end on the date when the next vaccine is due. For example, if your first dose of Hepatitis B was today, you would be given a 30-day extension until you are eligible to get the next dose. The extension applies just to Hepatitis B (in this case), and all other vaccines are still due on time.

Do I need a TB test?

If you answered YES to any of the questions on the TB Risk Assessment Questionnaire, you need a TB test (skin test or blood test) AFTER June 1 2020. The TB test must be within three months of starting classes. Download the TB Results Form in the Medical Forms section to bring with you to your provider or clinic.

Do I need a physical exam?

The Communication Sciences and Disorders on-campus graduate program requires documentation of a physical exam within the last three (3) years. There is not a specific Emerson form for this. All undergraduate programs and other graduate programs do NOT require a physical exam.

What do I do if there is an “immunization done too early” message?

Vaccines (especially ones with multi-doses) are required to be given at a certain time or time intervals to be acceptable.  If one of your vaccines was given “too early,” you will either need another dose of the vaccine or a blood test to verify immunity. For more information about Massachusetts’ immunization guidelines for schools, see

Do I need a meningitis vaccine?

The meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY) is required for all students 21 years of age and under. It must be given on/after the student’s 16th birthday. If a student does not want to receive this vaccine, the student may sign and upload the Massachusetts Meningococcal Waiver Form. Men B does not satisfy the MenACWY requirement. Men B (brand names Bexsero and Trumenba) are recommended vaccines but not required at this time. For more information, visit the CDC webpage on meningitis B

What if my blood test (titer) says my immunity is equivocal or borderline?

To be acceptable, the result must be positive. An equivocal or borderline result would be treated as a negative result to immunity. Students will need a booster dose of the vaccine.

What if I have a medical or religious exemption?

Students must complete the Emerson College Medical and Religious Exemption Form. For medical exemptions, medical documentation is required as well. Massachusetts recognizes true religious exemptions but not philosophical exemptions. Staff and faculty must submit an exemption request through Human Resources.

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