Immunization Requirement FAQ

General Questions



What are the required immunizations at Fairmont State University?
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) – 2 doses or evidence or bacterial/serological evidence of immunity to each component of the vaccine
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) – 2 doses or laboratory/serological evidence of immunity
  • Tetanus (Tdap) – dose within the last 10 years
  • Polio – 3 doses
  • Meningococcal (MCV4 or Quadrivalent) – We have made an update to our immunization requirements. Starting on July 20th, 2022, the Meningococcal vaccine will be required for students who are 21 years of age and younger and the vaccine should be given within the last 5 years. Thank you for your part in continuing to keep our campus community safe.
Where can I receive vaccinations?

From your pediatrician or primary care provider, local health department or a local pharmacy.

Marion County Health Department offers all mandatory immunizations for no charge with insurance. If you do not have insurance, it is $25.

What if I cannot locate my childhood immunization records?

You may submit an MMR and varicella titer to test immunity. A titer is a test that is done by drawing a sample of blood. A provider at student health can write an order for this and then you will need to take the order to the lab to get the test completed. A negative test result indicates you are not immune and must receive the full vaccination series. Those with no proof of the other required vaccinations must complete the full vaccination series for each. Upload a document to the portal when you have started the vaccination process and when you complete it.

What if I want to be exempt from immunizations?

West Virginia does not grant non-medical exemptions for immunizations. Non-medical exemptions have been associated with increased occurrence of vaccine-preventable outbreaks originating in and spread through schools.

West Virginia Medical Exemption information

Medical exception forms are available at student health and the form must be filled out by the student’s primary care provider.

If you attend Fairmont State University in an all-virtual capacity, you may qualify for an exemption from the immunization requirements by completing the Immunization Exemption Request for Virtual Learners form and submitting it to Student Health Services at at least fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the start of classes.

What do I do with my documents once I have gathered them?

Upload all required immunization documentation through your secure student health portal, pyramed. You may access this through your Fairmont State student portal

If I have more questions, who should I contact?

Additional questions can be addressed to Student Health Services. Their phone number is (304) 367-4155 or by email at

MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)



Why is it important for college students to receive the MMR immunization?

This vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella and prevents the complications that follow. College students are at risk for contracting these diseases as they live in close quarters to one another. According to the CDC, the vaccine usually protects those from measles and rubella for life. Some must receive additional boosters to provide protection against mumps as it can wear off over time. CDC - MMR

What if I have never received the MMR immunization?

There are 2 MMR doses, given 28 days apart.

What if I received the 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, but my titer is negative/non-immune?

Fairmont State University will require you to obtain an additional two doses, with the second immunization administrated no earlier than 28 days after the first dose and a repeat titer drawn at least 30 days later.  This follows the recommendations of the CDC.

What are the contraindications to receiving the vaccine?

Those who have had an allergic reaction to a previous dose or vaccine component.

Those who have a severe immunodeficiency (hematologic and solid tumors, receipt of chemotherapy, congenital immunodeficiency, long-term immunosuppressant therapy, or those with HIV who are severely compromised)

Those who are pregnant.

CDC - Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination

Varicella (Chickenpox)



Why is it important to immunized for varicella?

According to the CDC, chickenpox is extremely contagious. The vaccination ensures your protection and the communities. It is important to consider the populations that cannot be immunized such as those with severe allergies and those who are pregnant.

CDC - Varicella

If I had chickenpox as a child, what is recommended?

You must prove immunity or show proof that you have been immunized. Proof can be shown by receiving a titer. A history of having the disease is not considered proof of immunity.

What if my titer comes back negative/non-immune?

You must repeat the full vaccination series. There are 2 injections, given at least 28 days apart.

What if I have never received the immunization?

There are 2 Varicella injections, given 28 days apart.

What are contraindications to receiving the vaccine?

Those who have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of the varicella vaccine or any ingredient of the vaccine, including gelatin or antibiotic neomycin.

People who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled. The individual should reschedule their appointment.

Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. They should wait until after they have given birth.

CDC - Varicella Vaccine Recommendations

Tetanus (Tdap)



How is Tetanus contracted?

According to the CDC, spores of tetanus are found in dust, soil, and manure. Spores enter the body through broken skin by contaminated objects. Though tetanus is not contracted person to person, its consequences can be fatal.

CDC - Tetanus

What diseases does the Tdap prevent?

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough)

How long does a tetanus immunization last?

The CDC recommends adults receive a booster dose of the vaccine every 10 years.

CDC - Tetanus Facts

What are the best ways to prevent tetanus?

Vaccination and good wound care will help an individual from contracting tetanus. Wash your hands and clean all minor wounds, such as cuts or scrapes thoroughly.

CDC - Tetanus Prevention

Does Td or DTaP fulfill the requirement?

No, Tdap is the required immunization.




Why is it important to be immunized for Polio?

It is spread from person to person and can invade a person’s brain and spinal cord. It can cause paralysis and possibly death. It is transmitted through droplets from an infected person's sneeze or cough. It can also be transmitted through the intestines if a person comes in contact with another’s feces.

CDC - Polio

How many doses of the polio vaccine are there?

There are 3 injections. The first, you receive at any time. The second dose is received 1-2 months after the first, and the third dose is received 6 to 12 months after the second.

Did I receive this vaccination already?

More than likely yes. To attend public school in the United States, you must receive these vaccinations. Most children receive the first dose of the vaccine at 2 months old. This must be proved by evidence of vaccination.




How does the disease spread?

This disease is spread through person-to-person contact through respiratory secretions. Those at risk of contracting the disease include those within the same household, roommates, and those in contact with another’s oral secretions. There is a greater risk within the college population.

CDC - Meningitis

How many doses is the meningococcal vaccine?

There are 2 injections. At least 8 weeks in between. The last dose must be given within the last 5 years prior to starting at Fairmont State University.  

Human Papillomavirus (HP-9)



How is HPV transmitted?

It is spread through skin-to-skin contact. HPV can be contracted by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who is infected with the virus.


What types of cancers can HPV cause?
  • Cervix, vagina, and vulva
  • Penile
  • Anus, throat, tongue, tonsil (oropharynx)
Is this vaccination required by the university?

No. This vaccine is highly suggested and encouraged for all college students to receive.

Does the vaccine only prevent cancers in women?

No. The vaccine prevents cancers in both men and women.

COVID-19 Vaccine



Is this vaccination required by the university?

No. This vaccine is highly recommended and encouraged for all students to receive.

Why is it important to get vaccinated?

Vaccination will prevent you from having serious side effects from the virus. Getting vaccinated also has the benefits of protecting those you come in contact with. There is no way to determine if someone with the virus is going to have life-threatening side effects from it.


How do I receive a vaccine?

Contact student health services or a local pharmacy in your area to determine if they have vaccinations available.

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Side effects are normal as they ensure your body is building protection against the virus. Common side effects include pain, redness, and swelling in the arm the shot was received in. Tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea are all common.

CDC- COVID-19 vaccine side effects

Will the vaccine alter my DNA?

No. The vaccine does not come in contact with the nucleus of the cell, which is where DNA is stored. The types of vaccines recommended in the United States include messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine. These vaccines instruct cells to recognize the virus and build protection against it.

CDC - COVID-19 vaccine facts