Click on the questions below to get answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions related to Immunizations. If your question isn't listed, please call or come by Student Health Services.
Where can I obtain my shot records?
You may contact your parents/guardians to see if they have any official documentation for you, like a childhood shot record. You can also try any public schools that you may have attended. Previous colleges and/or universities are good sources too, especially if you are a transfer student. Previous physicians, military documents, the Florida Department of Health (Blue Form), or your state’s local health department may also have records.
What is an MMR?
An MMR is a measles, mumps, and rubella combination shot.
Where is the Immunization office located?
Immunizations is located in Student Health Services in Building 960, on the first floor. Our building is between the tennis courts and the Center for Fine & Performing Arts.
Should I send in my Mandatory Immunization Health History Form with my application or directly to Student Health Services?
The UWF Mandatory Immunization Health History Form should be filled out online. Visit the UWF Online Immunization Form web page for details and access to the form.
I am faxing/emailing my immunization records. Do I still need to mail the original?
No. A legible faxed or emailed copy of your immunization records will be sufficient. Log into MyUWF and check the Immunization Status app to confirm that the documents were received and your holds have been removed.
I have been a previous student at UWF. Do you still have my immunization records on file?
Please call (850) 474-2172, option 2 and we will be happy to check to see if we have immunization records on file for you, and if they meet the current requirements.
Is this just a University of West Florida requirement?
No. All 12 public 4-year universities in Florida must abide by these requirements which are set forth by the Florida Board of Governors.
I have attended another state university; am I still required to show proof of immunization?
Yes. Each university stores the immunization data differently and these systems are not linked together. Note: if you signed a waiver form at another school, they do not transfer. You must sign waivers at each school you attend.
I am a transient/transfer student from another Florida public university. How can I take care of my immunization requirement?
You may have your current university print a copy of your Immunization Records and submit to UWF Immunizations via fax, email, regular mail, or in-person drop-off.
I had my transcripts sent to UWF and they were supposed to include my immunization records. Why don't you have a copy of them?
Your immunization records must be submitted directly to Immunizations at Student Health Services. The admissions office at UWF does not provide these records to Student Health Services.
I heard that I can waive some shots. Is that true?
Yes. Students have the option of either waiving or providing shot records for Hepatitis B (3 shots) and Meningococcal Meningitis. If you have started, but not completed the series, you will also need to sign the waiver. However, every student born after 1956 must provide documentation of 2 MMR shots. See questions below for exceptions. You can also visit our Immunization Exceptions and Waivers page for more details.
What if I have a medical reason for not getting the vaccinations?
The student must provide a letter from a healthcare provider, signed on official medical office stationery and including the official stamp from the office, stating the medical reason(s) why the student is not able to receive the vaccine(s), and indicating if this is a temporary or permanent condition.
I may be pregnant or I am currently pregnant or nursing. What can I do if I don't have my immunization records?
You may submit a dated letter from your physician stating your situation. An alternative option is to have your blood tested for immunity to measles and rubella (results must be positive). Pregnant women are routinely tested for rubella, so you should be able to obtain the test result from your OB/GYN.
What can I do if my religious convictions prohibit me from getting vaccinated?
The student (or the student's parent/guardian if under 18 years old) must provide a signed letter stating that the student's religious beliefs do not permit him/her to receive vaccinations. Please call (850) 474-2172, option 2 for more information.
What if I am only taking online classes?
The Mandatory Immunization Health History Form is required to be completed and submitted for all UWF students, including online students. If you are taking only online classes at UWF, and will not be present in any UWF classroom or on any UWF campus, you may request an exception for the MMR vaccine and waivers for the Hepatitis B and Meningitis vaccines.
What if I am active duty military?
Active duty military personnel may request an exception for the MMR vaccine and waivers for Hepatitis B and Meningitis on the Mandatory Immunization Health History Form if documentation of immunization is unavailable at the time of registration. Proof of military service is required.
What if I just don't believe in getting shots? What do I do then?
You have the option of having a blood test done (titer) to show the presence of the measles and rubella antibodies. If the test results are positive and show immunity to measles and rubella, then this is acceptable to meet the requirement. However, if the test results are negative, then you would have to show proof of immunization or receive the vaccines.
I recall having had measles and/or rubella. Doesn't that prove that I am immune?
Having had the measles and/or rubella in the past is NOT sufficient proof of immunity. You may have a blood test (titer) to show that you have antibodies in your system against this disease.
I have had children. Didn't they test for immunity to measles and rubella when I was pregnant?
Women are routinely tested for immunity to rubella (NOT measles) when pregnant. You may get a copy of the lab results from your OB/GYN for this part of the immunization requirement. You still need to prove that you are immune to measles.
If I have documents from the health department, do I still need to complete the UWF Mandatory Immunization Health History Form?
All students are required to submit the Mandatory Immunization Health History Form. You may submit the blue Health Department form in addition, but please check to see that you have received both MMR shots, all 3 doses of Hepatitis B, & the Meningitis vaccine. If these are not complete, then you must request a waiver (for Hepatitis B and/or Meningitis), have a titer performed (Hepatitis B and/or MMR), or show proof of vaccination (MMR, Hepatitis B, and Meningitis).
I am over 40 years old; do I still need to submit Immunizations?
Yes. All students must submit the state mandated immunization documentation for MMR, Hepatitis B, and Meningococcal Meningitis.
If I was born before 1957, do I still need to fill out the immunization form?
If you were born BEFORE 12/31/1956, you can request an exception for the MMR vaccine on the online immunization form. You will still need to provide consent for medical treatment and provide proof of vaccination/immunity to Hepatitis B and Meningitis OR request a waiver for these two vaccinations.
Why were my documents good enough to get through public school, but not good enough for the university?
Until recently, almost all public schools in Florida only required that you have one dose of the measles immunization. The State of Florida now requires two doses of the measles immunization. This means that you could have gone all through public school with only one (1) measles immunization, which does not meet the current requirements. Private schools may not have had any immunization requirements. Two doses are required by the State of Florida.
I had my first shot before my first birthday, why would this be unacceptable?
Immunizations given prior to your first birthday (12 months old) may be ineffective because your immune system is not fully developed. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that the measles and rubella immunizations be given after you are one year old.
My parents kept a "baby book" with the dates of my vaccines. Is that official enough?
In order for it to be official, it needs to have a doctor's signature, dates and stamp. You may scan and email, fax, mail a copy (do not mail originals) or bring in that record for us to review.
I am not a student at UWF yet. Can I use your clinic to get the shots or have a titer?
Yes. Prospective students may receive MMR, Hepatitis B and Meningitis vaccines, as well as titer tests for Measles, Rubella and Hepatitis B. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (850) 474-2172, option 1.
What if my doctor doesn't have an office stamp?
A "stamp" can be the office address. The UWF Immunization Records Form must be stamped, signed, and completed by a healthcare provider or it will not be accepted. The office may also print out your vaccination dates on office letterhead and include a healthcare provider signature and date for proof of receiving vaccinations.
I have attended UWF and now I need my immunization records for myself or another school. How can I get a copy of them?
You may complete an Authorization for Release of Confidential Information form. You may also come in person to SHS with your UWF ID# and fill out the request form. For more information, visit the Confidential Records Release Request page.
How is meningococcal disease spread?
Meningococcal disease is transmitted through the air droplets of respiratory secretions and direct contact with an infected person.
Who is at risk for meningococcal disease?
Recent evidence found students residing on campus in dormitories appear to be at higher risk for meningococcal disease than college students overall. Further research recently released by the CDC shows freshmen living in dormitories have a six times higher risk of meningococcal disease than college students overall. Although anyone can come in contact with the bacteria that causes meningococcal disease, data also indicates certain behaviors, such as exposure to passive and active smoking, bar patronage, and excessive alcohol consumption, may put students at increased risk for the disease.
Is meningitis vaccine recommended?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the American College Health Association recommend that college students, particularly college freshmen who live in or plan to live in dormitories or resident halls, consider getting the Meningitis MCV4 vaccine to reduce their risk of meningococcal disease. The Florida Legislature mandates that students living in on-campus housing be vaccinated for Meningitis and Hepatitis B or sign a waiver refusing the vaccinations.
How effective is the meningitis vaccine?
The meningococcal MCV4 vaccine has been shown to provide protection against the most common strains of the disease, including serogroups A, C, Y and W-135. As with any vaccine, meningococcal MCV4 vaccination may not protect 100% of susceptible individuals. Protection from the vaccine lasts for at least 3-5 years.
Where can I get the Meningitis vaccine?
The MCV4 vaccine is available at Student Health Services. To make an appointment, please call (850) 474-2172, option 1. For a list of local facilities that offer the meningitis vaccine, please visit our Meningitis Vaccination Locations web page.
What immunizations are available at Student Health Services?
SHS offers the following immunizations at cost for all UWF students: MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Hepatitis B (3 shot series), Meningitis (MCV4), Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria, pertussis), Gardasil (3 shot series to prevent HPV), & Flu vaccine. Please visit the Immunization Fees page for cost details.
Are there community resources available for immunizations?
Yes. The Escambia County Health Department can provide immunizations as listed below:
Anyone under 19 years old, regardless of the county or state they are from, can receive any shot(s) that ECHD offers, free of cost, including: Menactra (meningitis), HPV, Tdap, and pneumococcal under the VFC Program.
Uninsured (or underinsured-Medicaid) adults 19 years or older, regardless of the county or state they are from, can ask to participate in the "Adult Federal Program" through the ECHD. Participants in this program pay an administrative fee of $18 per shot and can receive any shot(s) that ECHD offers.
Privately insured persons age 19 or older can ask to participate in the "Pay Program" and pay the appropriate vaccine fee and receive any shot(s) that the ECHD offers.