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College and University Vaccination Policies (September 2020)

By Charles Hunt, M.P.H., Carlie J. Houchen, M.P.H., Elena Aronson, M.P.H. | September 14, 2020

College and University Vaccination Policies (September 2020)

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Vaccine requirements vary tremendously on Kansas campuses. As is evident from recent measles and mumps outbreaks at state universities, the risk of vaccine preventable diseases continues to be a concern.

As college students return to campuses, COVID-19 cases increase, and the world waits for a vaccine, the Kansas Health Institute has published a new fact sheet that reviews vaccination policies at Kansas universities and colleges.

Key points include:

  • Requirements under Kansas state law are limited to vaccination against meningitis, and only for residents in student housing at the six state universities.
  • The law does not require vaccinations against diseases other than meningitis and also does not require meningitis vaccinations for students at state universities in non-student housing or at other universities.
  • Only 84.2 percent of private colleges and 89.5 percent of community colleges have requirements for vaccination against meningitis. A smaller percentage of colleges and universities require vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap).
  • Vaccination not only protects students, it also protects others on campus, including faculty, staff and students who cannot receive vaccinations.

For more information about vaccinations in Kansas, visit the Immunize Kansas Coalition website.

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.