Immunization Requirement

The health and safety of students is paramount to the University. Although certain immunizations are required only of students enrolled in specific health-related courses and programs, all students are strongly encouraged to obtain them for their own protection. Students may obtain information regarding the consequences of outdated immunizations for certain diseases, the age groups most vulnerable to these vaccine-preventable diseases, and local providers of immunization services from the Student Health Center located on campus. Immunizations are also available at the Student Health Center. To obtain information call 915.747.5624.

In accordance with state law, the following immunizations are required for all students enrolled in health-related courses which will involve direct patient contact in medical or dental care facilities or who come in contact with human biological fluids or tissue. Students enrolled at UTEP are charged a reasonable fee for all immunizations.

  • Measles: proof of two doses of measles vaccine administered on or after the first birthday and at least 30 days apart or proof of immunity.
  • Mumps: proof of one dose of mumps vaccine administered on or after the first birthday or proof of immunity.
  • Rubella: proof of one dose administered on or after the first birthday or proof of immunity.
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria: proof of one "booster" dose of tetanus/diphtheria (within 10 years).
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV): proof of serologic immunity to HBV or certification of immunization with a complete series of Hepatitis B vaccine. Students will be required to present a letter or other suitable written certification.

Note: Some colleges or academic departments can require additional immunizations. Certain exemptions are allowed from the immunization requirements. For further information, students should contact the Student Health Center or the academic department responsible for the courses or programs requiring immunizations.

A form on which the required immunizations can be documented is available from the Admissions Office or the Student Health Center. Since most secondary schools are required by law to maintain similar records, a copy of the high school immunization record can be submitted.

The Student Health Center is responsible for maintaining a record of those students who comply with these requirements and can recommend the placement of an administrative hold on records of students who have not met these requirements. The Student Health Center provides the required immunizations for all academic programs; however no X-ray screening is available. The HB vaccine is also available for a nominal charge for students enrolled in medical-related programs.

AIDS, HIV, and Hepatitis B Infection Policy

The University of Texas at El Paso recognizes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) as serious public health threats and is committed to encouraging an informed and educated response to issues and questions concerning AIDS, HIV, and HBV. To demonstrate its commitment, UTEP has adopted a policy and procedural steps to protect both the rights and well being of those students, employees, and patients who might be infected with HIV or HBV as well as to prevent the spread of infection. No individual with HIV or HBV infection will be discriminated against in employment, admission to academic programs, health benefits, or access to facilities. Students with HIV or HBV infection can attend all classes without restriction, as long as they are physically and mentally able to participate and perform assigned work and pose no health risks to others. All information regarding the medical status of UTEP, faculty, staff, and students is confidential.

A complete copy of the AIDS, HIV and Hepatitis B Infection Policy, as well as an educational pamphlet on HIV infection developed by the Texas Department of Health, can be found in the institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) available in the Office of Student Life, the Library, and the Student Health Center. This policy is applicable to all students of UTEP as they pursue their academic (and clinical) endeavors. An educational pamphlet on HIV infection developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Public Health Service is available to all students in the Student Health Center.

Bacterial Meningitis

About SB 1107

Effective January 1, 2014, a Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination is required for all entering students under age 22. The term entering student includes new students to UTEP, transfer students from other colleges or universities, and returning UTEP students that have taken the most recent long semester off from college.
All first-time students, transfer students, and students who have taken a leave of absence from school in either a fall or spring semester must have received this vaccination during the five-year period immediately preceding the start of classes and at least 10 days prior to the first day of the semester enrolled.
The following evidence must be provided to either the Graduate School (by a new graduate student), the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (by a new undergraduate student), or the Registrar's Office (by a continuing student who has stopped out):

  1. Certification from a physician, clinic or previous school demonstrating that the student has been vaccinated during the five-year period immediately preceding and at least 10 days prior to the first day of class. Or,
  2. A letter from a licensed medical physician certifying that in the opinion of the physician the required meningococcal vaccination would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student. Or,
  3. An official exemption affidavit issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services approving exception for reasons of conscience. The exemption affidavit may be requested via the Texas Department of State Health Services.

In order to avoid course enrollment delays, entering students are strongly encouraged to receive the appropriate vaccinations early.
Students and/or family members with questions concerning the State of Texas law (SB 1107) may visit the Texas Legislature Online website.

For more information regarding the State of Texas requirements please visit the appropriate office (Graduate School, Office of Undergraduate Admissions, or the Registrar's Office) located in the Academic Services Building, call 915-747-6094, or click here.

What is Bacterial Meningitis?

Bacterial meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress rapidly. Students are urged to take utmost caution. This is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The bacterium that causes meningitis can also infect the blood. This disease strikes about 3,000 Americans each year, including 100-125 on college campuses, leading to five to 15 deaths among college students every year. There is a treatment, but those who survive might develop severe health problems or disabilities.

What are the symptoms?
  • High fever
  • Rash or purple patches on skin
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Confusion and sleepiness
  • Lethargy
  • Severe headache
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea
  • Seizures

There might be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots caused by bleeding under the skin. These can occur anywhere on the body.

The more symptoms, the higher the risk, so when these symptoms appear, seek immediate medical attention.

How is Bacterial Meningitis diagnosed?
  • Diagnosis is made by a medical provider and is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results from spinal fluid and blood tests.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.
How is the disease transmitted?
  • The disease is transmitted when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing, or by sharing drinking containers, utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes, etc.) or come in contact with respiratory or throat secretions.
How does one increase the risk of getting bacterial meningitis?
  • Exposure to saliva by sharing cigarettes, water bottles, eating utensils, food, kissing, etc.
  • Living in close conditions (such as sharing a room or suite in a dorm or group home).
What are the possible consequences of the disease?
  • Death (in 8 to 24 hours from perfectly well to dead)
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Kidney failure
  • Learning disability
  • Hearing loss or blindness
  • Limb damage (fingers, toes, arms, legs) requiring amputation
  • Gangrene
  • Coma
  • Convulsions
Can the disease be treated?
  • Antibiotic treatment, if received early, can save lives and chances of recovery are increased. However, permanent disability or death can still occur.
  • Vaccinations are available and should be considered for:
    • Those living in close quarters
    • College students 25 years old or younger
  • Vaccinations are effective against -four of the -five most common bacterial types that cause 70% of the disease in the U.S. but do not protect against all types of meningitis.
  • Vaccinations take seven to10 days to become effective, with protections lasting a minimum of eight years.
  • The cost of the vaccine varies; health care providers have more information.
  • Vaccination is very safe. The most common side effects are redness and minor pain at the injection site for up to two days.
  • Vaccination is available at the UTEP Student Health Center, on a walk-in basis.
  • Contact the City County Health Department, Immunization Outreach at 915.591.2050
  • Contact the Pro Action-Tillman Health Center at 915.533.3414
How can I find out more information?
  • Contact your own health care provider.
  • Contact your Student Health Center at 915.747.5624.
  • Contact your local or regional Texas Department of Health Office at 915.834.7853.
  • Visit:  http://www.acha.org.
Requirement to obtain information on Bacterial Meningitis
  • All incoming undergraduate and graduate students are required to obtain information about bacterial meningitis and sign an acknowledgment form with the Records Office, located in the Academic Services Building.

In addition, The University of Texas at El Paso complies with Texas Education Code, sec. 51.9192, "the Jamie Schanbaum Act," which requires first time students and transfer students at a Texas institution of higher education (undergraduate and graduate) residing in on-campus housing to show evidence of immunization for bacterial meningitis. The student must have received the vaccination at least 10 days prior to the student taking up residence in on-campus housing. Detailed information pertaining to the requirements of Texas Education Code 51.9191 can be obtained by calling the Student Health Center at (915) 747-5624.