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Western Kentucky University

WKU Health Services : Immunization and Vaccines

WKU does not require any immunizations or proof of vaccination for admittance to the university. Please consult your health care provider for additional information and specific recommendations for your circumstances. We recommend students have a copy of their immunization records. In the case of an infectious disease outbreak, we may need immediate access to students immunization records.

WKU students can get a wide variety of immunizations at Health Services. Students, faculty and staff can also schedule travel, immunizations, and anti-malarial medication (as appropriate) for travel abroad.

Click here to take an interactive quiz and find out what vaccines you need!

  • Travel Health Clinic (For students, faculty, staff who plan to travel outside U.S.)
  • Incoming Students (Recommended immunizations, tips about medical records and health insurance,
    and a checklist of medical supplies to pack) 


Available Vaccines

Vaccination for bacterial meningitis (a serious infection of the lining of the brain). It is recommended for all students, especially individuals living in the residence halls. New recommendations include a booster if more than 5 years since your initial immunization. Please view our Meningitis page for additional information.

Hepatitis B
Recommended for all people. It may be required for certain health care workers and health science students. 3 injections - first injection at any time, second injection 30 days after the first, third injection five months after the second. A signed waiver is accepted in lieu of vaccination for certain health care students. It is recommended that most patients receive the Hepatitis A/Hepatitis B (TwinRix) combination if they are beginning the vaccine series. Please view our Hepatitis page for additional information.

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
Two shot series are given in early childhood. May require proof of immunity for certain health care students, or in pregnancy. Proof of immunity against each infection may also be accepted. If you do not have documentation of 2 doses we strongly recommend that you check with your family doctor or local Health Department about getting the second dose prior to arriving at school.

Tdap - Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis (whooping cough)
A booster is recommended every 10 years. If you have never received a pertussis booster you should have a Tdap booster as soon as possible. Otherwise a booster is recommended every 10 years. In the case of an injury, a booster is recommended every 5 years.
Tdap is a new type of tetanus booster including a Pertussis booster (known as Whooping Cough). This is intended as a one time booster for adults and may be given instead of the tetanus/diphtheria combination for both routine boosters and for use in injuries. To learn more click here.

HPV (Gardasil®)
Gardisil is a vaccine against certain strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 100 strains of the HPV virus, but a select sub-group is responsible for genital warts and cervical cancer. This vaccine offers protection against the 2 strains responsible for 90% of genital warts and 2 strains responsible for 70% of cervical cancer. The FDA now recommends this vaccine for all patients 9 to 26 years old.

Annual immunization for seasonal flu is now recommended for all patients. In times of vaccine shortages, patients with certain chronic medical conditions may receive priority for vaccination.

Chickenpox (Varicella)
All adults who have never had chickenpox or have not received the vaccination should be vaccinated against it. Two doses of the vaccine should be given at least four weeks apart. Two separate injections, 4-8 weeks apart.

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is an infection caused by a virus and transmitted through contaminated food and water. This vaccine requires two injections. The first injection may be given at any time and the second must be given 6-12 months after the first injection. This may be received as a three shot series combined with hepatitis B (TwinRix). Patients who plan international travel should receive the Hepatitis A vaccine. Recommended for travelers to certain areas, and recently recommended for routine vaccination of infants.

Hepatitis A and B (Twinrix®)
This vaccine is a combination of Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines. It is now the recommended vaccine for all patients who need either the Hepatitis A or B vaccine or have not yet received the other. Please view our Hepatitis page for additional information.

Pneumonia (Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPSV)
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages. To prevent these potentially life threatening infections it is recommended that patients receive the vaccine. The PPSV is intended primarily for adults, although
children over 2 years of age with long term health problems should also receive the vaccine. WKUHS recommends this vaccine for everyone over the 65 years of age and anyone younger than 65 who has a chronic medical problem or who has exposure to tobacco. Please view our Pneumonia page or CDC guidelines for additional information.

This is not a vaccine, but rather a test for exposure to tuberculosis. A TB skin test may be required for certain international studies, health sciences, and education students. Annual TB skin test or chest x-ray (for patients with a previous positive test) may be needed.  If a patient has not received a TB test in last 12 months, a two-step test may be required. Documentation of treatment for positive results is required.

Sharps Container Exchange Program
If you need a container to dispose of your medical syringes, please come by Health Services to pick up a sharps container. If your container is full, please bring it to Health Services to dispose of the needles.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14