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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Your Health

Health Center Vaccine Requirement: A Shot To Spring Registration

Students voice their opinions on the Heath Center's spring registration hold as a consequence for those who have yet to get the MMR vaccine.

For USC students, October marks the middle of the fall semester and the beginning of the spring registration. But for those students who have not received their MMR (Measles, Mumps, & Rubella) vaccine, their spring registration may not be processed.

Not much action outside the Engemann Health Center. (Morgan Evans/Annenberg Media).
Not much action outside the Engemann Health Center. (Morgan Evans/Annenberg Media).

Before coming to school in the fall, new and transfer students are required to send medical records that confirm the list of recommended vaccines they have received to the Engemann Health Center. Of those recommended vaccines, the MMR shot is required. The medical documentation that is sent in must include a signature or stamp from the student’ doctor as well as a chart of when both doses of the vaccine was given. Though the deadline for required vaccine paperwork was Sept 11th, many students have yet to send in their forms confirming that they have received the MMR vaccine.

The health center sent out secure messages via email to notify the remaining students who have yet to receive the MMR shot, in addition to placing holds on those student accounts, preventing them from successfully registering for the spring semester.

Although the MMR vaccine rule has been enforced by the Health Center for nearly 15 years, many students were still surprised to learn about the vaccine requirement and the consequences.

Sabrina Briscoe, a USC student says that the MMR vaccine and the spring registration rule was news to her. “I had no idea I had to get the measles shot. No one told me. It’s not written anywhere that I know of – I haven’t received an email I don’t think. That’s crazy.”           

Sabrina Brisco, USC student, laughs about the MMR requirement.
Sabrina Brisco, USC student, laughs about the MMR requirement.

 Though Briscoe admits to not receiving the required shot, she blames the University for poor communication about the matter.

“They should send a school-wide email or place announcements on Connect SC – things that students use a lot. USC has a lot of issues communicating things with their students, I feel like. So, they should work on that. ”

Another student, Tufan Nadiafi, says that he thinks students should go and get their shots for their own health, but the campus Health Center does lack good communications with it’s students, suggestion other ways the message about the required shots may be more effective.

“Maybe, putting something out right in front of Tommy Trojan? Maybe, that will help because everybody seems to stop when there is a table.”

USC requires that all 35,000 members of its student body to get the MMR vaccine, but not everyone does. USC sophomore Carly Fasciglione, says she knows there are some people who don’t believe in vaccines and choose not to get the shot, but there is a danger to avoiding these required vaccinations on a college campus.

“I think for the most part, people have heard a lot of controversy over vaccinations, and I think that people don’t even realize – they just hear all this talk about autism. There is more of a focus on this whole autism thing and people don’t stop to think about what if you don’t get this vaccination. What do you think will occur then?”

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