UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Student Health Services

Immunizations

Immunization Requirements

Certain immunizations are necessary to be protected while at college. Students should check their immunization histories and update any needed vaccines.  Students should know how to access their immunization records as they may need to show proof of immunization. See below for more information about recommended vaccinations and how to obtain them if needed.

Wisconsin colleges and universities are required by state statute to provide all enrolled students detailed information each year about meningococcal disease and hepatitis B, and the availability and effectiveness of vaccines against these diseases. (See below for this information.) Colleges and universities must also ensure that each student living in a residence hall affirms that he or she has received this information and if the student has been vaccinated against either disease. The date(s) of vaccination(s) will need to be provided.

For Wisconsin assistance, call your local public health agency, or check the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR) at https://www.dhfswir.org/PR/logoff.do

For Minnesota assistance, call Minnesota Department of Health MIIC Help Desk or check the Minnesota Immunization Registry at https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/immunize/miic/records.html

 

Vaccines recommended for college students by the American College Health Association(ACHA)

All of the following vaccines are available at the M Health Fairview Clinic - River Falls by calling 715-425-6701 to schedule an appointment. Only tetanus, MMR, and influenza are covered by Student Health Services, therefore students will be responsible for the full cost of vaccines received that are not covered.  Pierce County Public Health offers most pertinent vaccines free or at reduced cost. Call for vaccine appointments at 715-273-6755.

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) -  Students at post-high school educational institutions who do not have presumptive evidence of immunity need two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days. 
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) – A tetanus booster is needed every ten years (after childhood primary series). One of these doses should be Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) - Students may want to consider this vaccine if they have never had the chickenpox or have not been vaccinated.
  • Hepatitis B – Almost all infants are routinely vaccinated for Hepatitis B at birth. Students may want to consider this vaccine if they have not been immunized.
  • Meningococcal - MenACWY is recommended for students living in the residence halls or are a first-year college student.  MenB may be used for adolescents and young adults for short term protection.
  • Influenza - Annually to avoid disruption to academic activities. Student flu vaccines are covered by Student Helath Services for elibgible students at M Health Fairview-RIver Falls, and  Pierce County Public Health. 
  • Polio - Almost all children are routinely vaccinated but a booster may be required for some foreign travel.
  • Hepatitis A - Students may want to consider receiving this vaccine at least one month before traveling to high risk countries.  Recommended for routine use in all adolescents through the age of 18 and in particular for adolescent and adult high-risk groups (men who have sex with men, users of injectable and noninjectable drugs, or persons who have clotting factor disorders, and persons with chronic liver disease).
  • Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) - Recommended for females up to age 26 and males up to age 21.  Men who have sex with men ages 22 through 26 years may also be vaccinated.
  • COVID-19

Pierce County Public Health Vaccination Clinics

Pierce County Public Health Department offers certain vaccinations free or at a reduced cost to the community at regularly scheduled clinics at the Pierce County Public Health River Falls Office (same location as Pierce County Reproductive Health Services) at 1234 South Wasson Lane, Suite A.  To receive immunizations at these monthly River Falls clinics, students must call the main Pierce County Public Health Department office in Ellsworth at 715-273-6755 in advance to set up an appointment to receive the requested vaccines. 

 

Contact M Health Fairview Clinic -River Falls  at 715-425-6701 for an appointment. Since most vaccines are not covered or subsidized by Student Health Services (except MMR, Tetanus, and influenza), check with your health insurance provider regarding coverage; otherwise you will be responsible for the full cost of the vaccine.

For Students Living in Residence Halls

State statute relating to meningococcal disease and hepatitis B:  Please see the detailed information about meningococcal disease and hepatitis B in the information and links below, as well as information about the local availability and cost of these vaccinations. You must submit dates of vaccination against meningococcal disease and hepatitis B as part of the housing contract process. Once you’ve provided these dates, you should record these dates and the dates of all vaccinations and carry these records with you. If you need the dates of any vaccinations that you have received, you will need to contact the agency that administered the vaccine(s). If you receive either vaccine after the housing contract process, it is not necessary to submit the dates, but you should keep the dates for your own records. THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT YOU RECEIVE THESE VACCINATIONS.

Meningococcal Disease and Vaccine

Meningococcal disease is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection that can lead to meningococcal meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, or meningococcal septicemia, an infection of the blood. Meningococcal disease, caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis, is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in older children and young adults in the United States. Due to lifestyle factors, such as crowded living situations, irregular sleep patterns, and sharing of personal items, college students living in residence halls are more likely to acquire meningococcal disease than the general college population. Meningococcal infection is contagious, and progresses very rapidly. It can easily be misdiagnosed as the flu, and, if not treated early, meningitis can lead to death or permanent disabilities. One in five of those who survive will suffer from long-term side effects, such as brain damage, hearing loss, seizures, or limb amputation.  For more information on meningococcal disease and vaccination, check out the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) web page.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all incoming college freshmen living in dormitories be vaccinated against meningococcal disease with the Meningococcal Quadrivalent (ACYW) vaccine.  The American College Health Association (ACHA) recommends receiving this vaccine if students are living in the residence halls and for those who wish to reduce their risk for the disease. The initial or booster dose of the conjugate vaccine should be given on or after age 16.  

There is no specific Men B vaccine recommendation for college students; however, since the CDC ACIP states that a Men B vaccine series may be administered to adolescents and young adults to provide short term protection against most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease, some college students may choose to get this vaccine.   

Certain persons who are at increased risk for meningococcal disease should receive Men B vaccine in addition to the Meningococcal Quadrivalent vaccine.   

Meningococcal vaccinations may be available through Pierce County Public Health Department at no cost for some students. Please call  715-273-6755 to make an appointment and see if you qualify for a free or low cost vaccine. The vaccines may also be available at the M Health Fairview Clinics - River Falls; however this is not covered by Student Health Services.  Please call 715-425-6701 to check for availablity and to schedule an appointment.

Hepatitis B Disease and Vaccine

Hepatitis B is a serious and contagious viral infection that attacks the liver and may lead to acute disease, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. It is a major health problem in the United States infecting more than 1 million people.

You can get the infection through contact with blood or body fluids from an infected person. Hepatitis B is a hardy virus that can live for more than a week in dried blood or body fluids on clothes or other surfaces. Common ways of getting the disease include: a) through sexual contact (100 times more contagious than HIV spread sexually); b) through the eyes or mouth by exposure to blood or other body fluids; c) through the skin by way of cuts, scrapes, needle sticks or needle sharing; and, d) through contact between an infected mother and her newborn child during birth and early infancy.

There are safe and effective vaccines available to help prevent infection. The vaccination series consists of three shots given over a 6 month period of time. The vaccine is 90% effective for adults and 95% effective for infants, children, and adolescents who complete the three-dose vaccination series.  Most persons receive this vaccine series as part of their childhood immunizations, but persons may want to confirm

For more information on Hepatitis B and the vaccine, please check out the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) web page or the Hepatitis B Foundation web page.  Vaccinations may be available through Pierce County Public Health Department at no cost for some students if no health insurance coverage and depending on age.  Please call ahead to 715-273-6755 to make arrangements.  Vaccinations are also available through the M Health Fairviewy Clinic -River Falls; although these vaccinations are not covered by Student Health Services, the Clinic will bill most insurances.  Please call 715-425-6701 to schedule an appointment.

Tuberculosis Screening

Anyone exposed to tuberculosis (TB) or showing symptoms of TB should see a health care provider for evaluation and possible TB testing.  TB tests are generally not needed for people with a low risk of infection with TB bacteria. The United States Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that TB testing be performed on all individuals who may be at increased risk of TB as indicated below (CDC April 2012).

Who Should Get Tested for TB 

Certain people should be tested for TB bacteria because they are more likely to get TB disease, including:

  • People who have spent time with someone who has TB disease
  • People with HIV infection or another medical problem that weakens the immune system
  • People who have symptoms of TB disease (fever, night sweats, cough, and weight loss)
  • People from a country where TB disease is common (most countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia)
  • People who live or work somewhere in the United States where TB disease is more common (homeless shelters, prison or jails, or some nursing homes)
  • People who use illegal drugs                                     

Tuberculosis skin testing (Mantoux tuberculin skin testing) is covered by Student Health Services for students at M Health Fairview Clinic in River Falls.  Students may call 715-425-6701 to schedule a time for testing (and the test will need to be read at the M Health Fairview Clinic in River Falls 48-72 hours later).

For more information about tuberculosis and these recommendations/guidelines, check out the Centers for Disease Control tuberculosis web site, check with your health care provider, contact your local public health department (Pierce County Public Health Department 715-273-7655), or call Student Health Services at 715-425-3293.

Contact Us

Student Health and Counseling Services
Student Health Services: 715-425-3293
student.health.services@uwrf.edu
Counseling Services: 715-425-3884
counseling.services@uwrf.edu
M-F: 8 am - 4:30 pm
254 Rodli Hall