New CSU Hepatitis B immunization requirement affects 1500 students at Fresno State

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New CSU Hepatitis B immunization requirement affects 1500 students at Fresno State

Nearly 1,500 students at California State University, Fresno have until the end of July to meet the CSU’s hepatitis B immunization requirement, which requires a series of three shots over a six month period, or they will be ineligible to register for the 2001 fall semester.

University officials said today that 1,439 first time freshmen are affected by the requirement, signed into law by Governor Davis in July, 1999 (AB 1107).

The requirement states that all CSU students 18 and younger must be fully immunized before their second year of enrollment.

Sam Gitchel, health educator for the University Health and Psychological Services, said students need to make plans to get the shots now because to achieve full immunity, a series of three injections is given over a six-month period.

“A person is not considered fully immunized until the final injection has been given or a blood test indicates a sufficient antibody level,” Gitchel said.

University Health and Psychological Services (UHPS) will provide the hepatitis B vaccine free of charge to students 18 and younger, as long as supplies last, he said.

Students who do not complete the series before their 19th birthday will be charged $27 per injection for the vaccine necessary to complete the series. Vaccination is also available from private health care providers or the local health department.

Bernie Vinovrksi, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services said he expects most of the 1,439 students to comply in time but they need to start coming in now.

“Students who have already been immunized simply need to provide proof in person, by mail, or by fax,” he said.

Proof of immunization is usually in the form of an immunization record that includes the name and dates of immunization, or date and results of a blood test indicating immunity. An official high school transcript or medical record may also provide acceptable proof of immunization from a private health care provider, local health department, or campus health center.

Provisions are included for exemptions based on medical considerations and religious or personal beliefs.

Vinovrski said students were first notified about the requirement when they were admitted to the university, ranging from November 1999 to this summer. They were also notified with flyers in some classes this semester.

But the university is now preparing to send letters in the next two weeks reminding students of the requirement and the timeline.

The CSU also requires many students to be immunized against measles and rubella (German measles). For details about these immunizations, students should contact the health center.

Other immunizations offered by the health center are meningococcal disease (meningitis), chicken pox and pneumonia.

For more information, call the health center at 278-2734 or visit its website at http://studentaffairs.csufresno.edu/health/.