Health Requirements

The Florida State Board of Education requires all students born BEFORE 1/1/57 must complete the Immunization Record form and decline the meningococcal meningitis and hepatitis B vaccines at the waiver in the spaces provided, sign the form and submit it.

The Florida State Board of Education requires all students born on or after 1/1/57 must provide proof of two MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunizations. The first MMR must have been given on or after 1/1/68 and on or after the first birthday. The second MMR must have been given 28 days or more after the first MMR. Positive IgG titers for measles (Rubeola), German measles (Rubella) and Mumps antibodies may be submitted in lieu of proof of two MMR. Copies of the lab results showing the positive titers must be provided to the Health Compliance Office before the student will be able to register for classes.

College-age individuals living in residence halls, shared apartments, and other group housing are at an increased risk for developing meningococcal meningitis and hepatitis B—serious infections that can have devastating consequences. State of Florida law mandates that all university students be informed of the risks of infection. Students currently enrolled must either be vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis and hepatitis B or initial the Student Immunization Record stating that they have declined to receive the vaccine.

All Panama City students are required to complete and submit the Student Immunization Record to the Panama City Office of Student Affairs before registration. For questions, please call (850) 770-2170.

If you are transferring to FSU Tallahassee see Immunization Requirements.

Vaccine Information

Many other extremely valuable vaccines are available that are not required but are highly recommended to optimize a lifelong, preventive healthcare program.

Bacterial Meningitis

Young adults between the ages of 17-24 are at increased risk of developing a severe form of bacterial meningitis called meningococcal meningitis. The American College Health Association and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that students consider getting the meningitis vaccine. This bacterial infection, although rare, may cause severe neurologic impairment, partial loss of limbs, or death (9-12% mortality rate). Living in residence halls, bar patronage, and exposure to alcohol and cigarette smoke further increase the risk of infection within this age group. The incidence in young adults is about one case per 100,000. For freshmen living in residence halls, it is 3.8 or more per 100,000.

The meningococcal bacterium involved with invasive disease, such as meningitis or sepsis (a bloodstream infection) is usually one of the five different subtypes, called Serogroups A, B, C, Y, and W-135. The current vaccine does not stimulate protective antibodies to Serogroup B, but does against the remaining four types. In the past, Serogroup B caused about 50% of the disease burden in the U.S. but more recently, it has decreased to about 27% or less, making vaccination more protective against the other serogroups that have proportionately increased. The vaccine is safe and is estimated to protect for 3-5 years. For those who received a dose of vaccine at age 15 or younger, a 2nd booster has been recommended. Those who received a dose at age 16 or older do not need a booster dose.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a serious viral liver infection, prevalent worldwide, which can lead to chronic liver disease and liver cancer. The State of Florida has requirement for all school-age children to complete the three- shot series, but older students or out-of-state students may not be familiar with this recommendation. The Hepatitis B vaccine is extremely safe, effective and is required for any individual who may possibly be exposed to blood or other body fluids in their line of work or through sexual contact. We highly recommend you consider getting this vaccine or at lease discussing it with your primary care physician.

Polio, Tetanus, Tuberculosis

Have your doctor review the status of your Polio and Tetanus immunizations. Tetanus is recommended every 10 years routinely or within five years for contaminated or deep puncture wound. It is usually given as a tetanus/diphtheria combination shot called Td but a one-time dose of Tdap (which includes a small booster dose of pertussis) may be given anytime beyond 2 years or more from a previous Td, especially if exposure to children or working in health care is ongoing. Following this onetime Tdap, Td boosters should resume the 10 year schedule.

A skin test for tuberculosis called a PPD should also be considered at this time if your doctor determines you have been potentially exposed, such as working in a high risk clinic or institution, extended travel to at risk countries, etc.

Chicken Pox (Varicella)

Chicken Pox (Varicella) is not uncommon among college students who have not yet experienced this childhood illness. Varicella vaccination is available and is highly recommended for all children, adolescents, and young adults who are susceptible to this viral disease. It is given as a two-shot series, one to two months apart. The vaccine is generally well tolerated; 3-5% may experience a mild, varicella-like rash or low-grade fever, but complications are rare.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A, another viral illness affecting the liver, is especially prevalent in developing countries and is most often transmitted via contaminated food and water. Outbreaks occur throughout the United States and will likely continue and possibly increase in the next decade. Though not a cause of chronic liver disease, adults who develop Hepatitis A can be extremely ill and lose significant school or work time during the course of an infection. The Hepatitis A vaccine is very safe and is given as a two-shot series, six months apart. It is essential for anyone planning to travel to developing countries, but may be a good investment in your health even in the U.S.

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