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Questions about the Immunization Requirements

The following commonly asked questions offer guidance and assistance on meeting the 2017 immunization requirements successfully.

What if I don’t submit a complete immunization record before I arrive at Harvard?

We strongly encourage you to receive any required immunizations before you arrive at Harvard, as many health insurance plans will cover the costs of immunizations. If you are unable to obtain these prior to your arrival on campus, you may arrange to get immunizations at various locations in the area. If you have not demonstrated compliance with Massachusetts and Harvard University immunization requirements by the deadline, you will be required to report to Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) for further instructions when you arrive at opening weekend check-in; wait times are two hours or more.

What if I don’t have enough time to complete the full series of the MMR, Hepatitis B, or Varicella vaccinations?

For immunizations requiring more than one inoculation (such as measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B, and varicella), you must submit proof that you have begun the series and had as many of the inoculations (shots) as possible within the time frame/schedule specified on the Summer School Immunization Form. In this case, you are considered to be in compliance with the requirements for the current summer term.

My mother knows the dates I received my shots. Can she sign the form?

All immunization documentation and information must be certified by a health care provider or a medical records official. We cannot accept self reported immunization information.

Can I submit a form from another school or from my Au Pair program instead of the Summer School Immunization Form?

You may submit alternate documentation such as a copy of your immunization records from another school you attended or a copy of your personal immunization card. This documentation MUST satisfy the following requirements:

  • It must be in English.
  • It must include the full dates of each immunization (i.e. month, day, and year).
  • It must be certified by a health care provider or medical records official.
  • It must demonstrate compliance with the Massachusetts and Harvard University immunizations regulations.

Alternate documentation that does not fulfill these requirements will not be accepted.

What if my doctor does not know the exact date I received the shot or does not have record of it?

Without the full dates of your vaccinations (including month, day, and year), your immunization history does not comply with Massachusetts and Harvard University regulations and your documentation cannot be accepted. If you cannot provide documentation of each required immunization, there are several of the diseases for which you can have a blood test that will show whether or not you are immune to them (measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, and varicella). You would need to provide the Summer School with the proof of such tests. For the diseases that do not allow blood tests, you must take the immunizations again and provide the proof.

Do I need to complete a whole new form to submit my additional/updated shot information?

You should submit a new form, but should include only the NEW information. Check the box marked, "I have new information to add to the form I submitted earlier this summer." Lastly, the signature of your health care provider or medical records official cannot be earlier than the date of your most recent vaccination in order for your form to be accepted.

How do I know if you have accepted my documentation and completed the requirement?

Check the status of your immunization certification by logging in to online services and choosing "Student Information and Status" from the main menu.

I’m at school all day. Is it OK if my mother/father calls to find out which shots I’m missing?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), prohibits us from sharing this type of information with anyone except you, the student. You may check the status of your immunization certification by logging in to online services and choosing "Student Information and Status" from the main menu.

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