UC issues mandatory vaccine requirement by 2017

Jessica Machado, Staff Writer

Juniors and seniors who plan to apply to a University of California (UC) school need to add one more thing to their list: a shot record.

On February 6, the University of California announced that all prospective students must be vaccinated for a variety of diseases, including measles, effective in 2017 if they wish to be accepted into any of the UC’s.

“The Disneyland measles outbreak has now spread to 14 states, and physicians have not been able to raise their voices high enough above the misinformed din [parents against vaccinating their kids] to head off the suffering, disability and death that could result,” Ford Vox, M.D., said to CNN.

According to Alexandra Sifferlin of “Time” magazine, the recent measles outbreak allegedly stemmed from the Disneyland theme park in Orange County, Calif., and it has reached a total of 154 confirmed cases in 17 states. Surprisingly enough, this affluent county has an overwhelming percentage of unvaccinated children.

“Many preschools in this area spiked far higher [for children unvaccinated], including Kabbalah Children’s Academy in Beverly Hills (57 percent) and the Waldorf Early Childhood Center in Santa Monica (68 percent),” said Gary Baum in “The Hollywood Reporter.”

The UC Board of Education wants to implement a requirement for immunizations for incoming freshmen in order to keep their campus and its students healthy and safe.

According to California state Senator Dr. Richard Pan, a bill proposed on February 4 will prohibit personal belief exemptions for required vaccinations in California; it has yet to be determined if religious belief exemptions will be accepted.

“Thirty-two other states do not allow parents to rely on personal beliefs for exemption from vaccine requirements,” Pan said in an interview with KTLA 5 News.

The first phase of the UC vaccination policy will begin in 2015 with the notification to incoming UC freshmen for recommended vaccines and the vaccines that will soon be deemed mandatory. The second phase will begin in fall of 2016. All new students will have to enter their immunization record into the UC electronic medical record platform. The third and final phase will be the requirement of mandatory vaccines starting in the fall of 2017.

“[The mandatory vaccine policy] will require that by 2017 all incoming students show documentation not only for [the] hepatitis B vaccination but also for TB [tuberculosis] screening and four more vaccines: measles, mumps, and rubella; meningococcus; varicella (chicken pox); and tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough),” Alec Rosenberg said on the UCLA Newsroom website.

Students applying to any UC for the fall semester of 2017 who don’t meet the vaccine requirements will not be admitted to the colleges and will have their registrations put on hold until they submit their vaccine records or until their medical or religious exemption forms have been submitted and approved by the UC Board of Education.