Immunization Information

Immunizations Required by Massachusetts Law

Full-time undergraduate and graduate students and all international students are legally required to submit proof of immunization from several diseases to be able to attend college in the state of Massachusetts.

Please provide proof that you have received the following vaccinations:

  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)

    Two vaccines given after the first birthday, and at least one month apart, or a positive serological test for all these diseases are required. If you were born before 1957, you don’t require any vaccines or tests.

  • Tetanus Diphtheria Pertussis (Tdap)

    One vaccine administered within the last 10 years and remaining valid for the duration of your full-time studies is required. There is no test to prove immunity to tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

  • Hepatitis B

    A series of three immunizations where the second dose is given no sooner than one month after the first dose, and the third dose is given no sooner than five months after the second dose. A serological test showing positive immunity to Hepatitis B is an acceptable alternative.

  • Chicken Pox/Varicella

    Two doses of vaccine, given at least one month apart; or the date of diagnosed illness; or immunity demonstrated by a serological test. If you were born before 1980, you don’t need an immunization or a test.

  • Meningococcal vaccine for bacterial Meningitis

    If you’ll be living on campus, you‘re required to document that you’ve had the vaccine within five years, or sign the Meningococcal Student Waiver stating that you understand the risks and choose not to receive the vaccine.

Submitting Proof of Immunization

Your healthcare provider will need to complete and sign a Certificate of Immunization form, (see below to determine which form to use), which you will then send to the university.

Listed below, based on whether you’re an undergraduate, graduate, or adult learner, are the steps you must follow to submit your immunization records.

Please note that undergraduate students (first-year and transfers) send their documents to a different office on campus than graduate students and adult learners.

  • Undergraduate Students: First-year, Transfer, and International

    Our Student Health Service Center collects Certificate of Immunization Forms from full-time undergraduate students (first-year and transfers) and all undergraduate international students.

    • You must submit proof of your completed immunizations before you arrive on campus.
       
    • Massachusetts law allows for a 30-day grace period for complying with the requirements.
       
    • Download the Certificate of Immunization for Undergraduates Form (PDF) for your healthcare provider to complete and sign.
       
    • Submit your immunization records, and other undergraduate student health forms, to the Student Health Service Center within 30 days of the start of your first semester (contact information is on the form).
       
    • You will not be able to register for classes until you submit proof of all required immunizations.
       
    • Please email Virginia Delani at the Student Health Service Center at vdelani@lesley.edu or call 617.349.8222 if you have any questions, or if you’re applying for a religious or medical exemption from immunizations.
  • Graduate and Bachelor’s Degree Completion Students

    Our Graduate Student Immunizations Office collects Certificate of Immunization Forms from full-time graduate students and adult learners, including students in our Bunker Hill programs. This office also handles forms from international students in a graduate or bachelor’s degree completion program.

Medical and Religious Exemptions from Immunizations      

You may be considered exempt from the Massachusetts College Immunization Law if one of the following applies to you:

  • Medical exemption – if a physician submits documentation attesting that an immunization is medically contraindicated
     
  • Religious exemption – if a student submits a written statement that immunizations conflict with their sincere religious beliefs
  • Regarding medical and religious exemptions
    • Massachusetts law does not allow philosophical exemptions, even if signed by a physician.
       
    • Only medical and religious exemptions are acceptable.
       
    • Exemptions must be kept in the students’ files.
       
    • If an outbreak of measles, mumps, or rubella should occur on campus, you will be considered susceptible and required to remain off campus.
       
    • Immunization records or titer results may fulfill the immunization requirements and prevent exclusion from the campus in the event of an outbreak.
       
    • Please review the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Immunization Exemption Guidelines (PDF).
       
    • We'll consider each exemption request on a case-by-case basis and determine if your request is approved.
  • Applying for an exemption from immunizations

    Submit your records and a letter from your healthcare provider to document previous immunizations, a physician-verified diagnosis, and/or positive titer result, to the appropriate department:

    • Student Health Services for undergraduate students.
       
    • Student Life and Academic Development Immunization Office for graduate students and for adult learners in bachelor's degree completion programs.
       
    • The titer is a blood test, which determines the level of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella; chicken pox; and hepatitis B, and may be used as an alternative to immunizations.
       
    • There is no test to prove immunity to tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough), so you’ll need to have a Tdap to fulfill the Massachusetts State Immunization requirements.

Places to Get Vaccines in Cambridge

If you’re in the Boston area and you don’t have a primary care provider, but you require immunizations, the following locations provide vaccines.

Remember to take your health insurance card to your appointment. There may be fees for vaccines, so we recommend calling ahead to find out how much your insurance will cover.

  • Rite Aid

    1740 Massachusetts Ave
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    617.876.7662

    Visit their website here.
     

  • Mt. Auburn Hospital Walk-In Center

    330 Mount Auburn Street
    Cambridge, MA
    Take the 71 or 73 bus from Harvard Square.
    617.499.5065

    Visit their website here

  • CVS Minute Clinic

    Located inside CVS/Pharmacy #717
    36 White Street
    Cambridge, MA 02140
    617.876.4037

    Visit their website here.

Contacts for Immunization Inquiries