Abstract: Immunization Policies at Kentucky Colleges (43rd National Immunization Conference (NIC))

50 Immunization Policies at Kentucky Colleges

Tuesday, March 31, 2009: 4:05 PM
Lone Star Ballroom C1
Alicia Tindall
Robert L. Brawley
Dave Miller

Students enrolled in college live in optimal conditions for the spread of vaccine-preventable disease. The susceptibility of college populations to vaccine-preventable is highlighted by the numerous outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease that have occurred on college campuses. In order to reduce the incidence of vaccine-preventable disease on campus, the American College Health Association (ACHA) recommends that all college students be required to demonstrate proof of immunity against measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis B, and meningococcal. ACHA also recommends that colleges monitor immunization compliance and impose sanctions on students who are noncompliant. Thirty-seven states have implemented legislation that requires immunizations for college entry. Kentucky does not legislate immunizations for college entry.

The purpose of this survey was to determine the existence of immunization policies and procedures at colleges in Kentucky; and to evaluate these policies in light of recommendations made by ACIP and ACHA.

Paper and online based self-administered surveys were distributed to all fifty colleges in Kentucky. The survey instrument included questions regarding the existence of immunization policies, sanctions for individuals not in compliance with immunization requirements, influenza availability, cases of vaccine-preventable disease on campus, notification of vaccine-preventable disease cases, immunization exemption policies, and meningococcal specific recommendations.

The results of this study indicated that only 28% of Kentucky colleges require immunizations for students. Eight percent follow ACHA recommendations for all students and an additional 5% follow ACHA recommendations for health sciences students. College administrative elements, such as sanctions for non-compliance, advertising the availability of immunizations, notifying students and faculty in cases of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, keeping immunizations on file and providing travel information regarding immunizations was limited.

The Kentucky Immunization Program needs to assist Kentucky colleges to implement appropriate PIR and systems to monitor immunization compliance, appropriate methods of immunization education and procedures for vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.