Commonly Required Vaccines for International Students in the U.S

by | Feb 27, 2023 | Admissions, Student Life

To travel abroad, you’re required to be up to date on various vaccinations. That’s because international travel increases the chances of getting and spreading diseases.

At least one month before your travel date, make an appointment with your doctor to get all the required vaccines for international students.

You can find information on required vaccinations from your school’s international students’ office. You should also check with the U.S embassy or consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information on travel vaccine requirements.

Once vaccinated, make sure to submit the completed documentation to your school prior to your arrival. You’ll find information on how to submit your health records on your schools website.

Immigration officers at the airport will also request to see some of your vaccination documentation. Make sure to pack them in your carry-on bag when travelling.

With that in mind, let’s explore some of the most commonly required vaccines for international students in the U.S. Let’s start by discussing why you need to be up-to-date with your immunizations.

Why Do You Need to Be Vaccinated to Study Abroad?

There are several reasons why international students wishing to study in the U.S are required to be vaccinated.

  • Vaccination is an important public health measure that helps prevent the spread of infectious diseases. By requiring international students to be vaccinated before entering the country, the risk of outbreaks of preventable diseases is reduced.
  • Vaccination is often a requirement of the host country in order to protect its own citizens from imported infectious diseases. Some countries have specific vaccine requirements based on the prevalence of certain diseases in the student’s home country.
  • Universities and colleges want to ensure that their campuses are safe and healthy environments for students, faculty, and staff. Requiring vaccinations helps to minimize the risk of disease transmission and protect the health of everyone on campus.

Vaccination requirements for studying abroad help to protect both the individual student and the broader community from the spread of infectious diseases, ensuring a safe and healthy learning environment.

2023 List of Vaccines Needed to Study in the U.S

As a prerequisite for the US F1 visa, all international students studying at universities and colleges in the United States are required to receive vaccinations.

These vaccination requirements are mandatory for all students attending in-person classes on campus, regardless of their status as full-time, part-time, undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, residential, or non-residential.

The list of diseases for which vaccination is required is determined by the US Embassy and may vary depending on the student’s country of origin.

Familiarize yourself with the specific vaccination requirements for your country in order to ensure compliance with US visa regulations and to protect your own health and well-being while studying in the US.

Here’s a list of common vaccines required for international students in the U.S

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Meningococcal
  • Influenza
  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine
  • Polio
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Meningococcal
  • Mumps
  • Pneumococcal
  • Rotavirus
  • COVID-19

You’ll notice that some of these vaccines are usually given in childhood. You’ll have to present records of immunization to your physician so that they can verify and sign off on your health records.

In some cases you may need to take titer tests to help determine immunities. Titer tests show which vaccinations you have received and their results can be submitted to verify your immunization/vaccination records.

Tuberculosis Screening

In addition to common vaccines, international students are often required to undergo tuberculosis screening in the first few weeks after arrival in their campus. Tuberculosis screening is mandatory for international students from countries identified as high TB risk.

TB screening is usually offered through the school’s Student Health Services. It may be included as part of the orientation program for international students.

Note: Tuberculosis testing must be completed within the U.S, so it’s not advisable to pursue advance testing in your home country.

Vaccination Exemptions

In some cases, you may be exempt from some vaccination requirements such as:

  • Due to a medical condition
  • Age
  • Religious beliefs

In such cases, you’ll may be required to submit a signed statement of vaccination exemption from your physician. For exemption based on religious beliefs, you might have to explain how vaccination conflicts with your beliefs.

Can I get vaccinated When I’m in the US?

Yes. While you may require some vaccines to be allowed to travel into the U.S, others may only be required before starting classes.

That said, getting vaccinated in the U.S can be quite expensive. It’s more cost-effective to receive all the necessary vaccines in your home country before travelling to the U.S.


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