Essi A. Virtanen | News Editor
Nov. 17, 2016; 7 a.m.
Lindenwood has tightened its immunization requirements due to new state laws so by the end of fall semester, all incoming students are required to have certain vaccinations, officials said.
Dean of Students Shane Williamson said measles, mumps and rubella vaccination is no longer required.
In addition, in August 2016, state law added the requirement that private institutions like Lindenwood, in addition to public schools and colleges, provide the information.
According to a letter sent to students, all incoming students, including transfers, undergraduates, graduates who are full-time students and taking classes at Lindenwood University — at any of its campuses or satellite locations — are required to have these: tuberculosis 1-step skin test that was administered within the past 12 months and meningococcal conjugate vaccine.
Students have an option to complete a waiver for the meningococcal vaccine.
“The law states as long as we state that we have informed the students on the meningococcal that they can sign a waiver and upload that,” Williamson said.
For the tuberculosis test, an exemption can be given due to medical or religious reasons.
Williamson said that for example, students with illnesses who cannot “obtain a vaccine or certain shot” need to get a physician’s note to get an exemption. People from certain religions who don’t “support any form of immunizations” have to state their religious reasons and fill and upload the form.
The due date for the completion of the requirements is Friday, Dec. 9.
Ryan Guffey, vice president of Student Development, said the university is using a company called Castle Branch to collect the information.
When new students were enrolled to their fall 2016 classes, the students received an email with a specific link to each student to track all their information.
“If students don’t have access to that link anymore because it was sent to them a long time ago, we can get it sent to them again,” Guffey said.
He said they used to collect the information internally through admissions and housing, but now they are using the software to “centralize” the system and guarantee a better and easier service.
He said students will have an access to the records if they transfer and even years from now, which means this is not a Lindenwood-linked system but a broadly used database to store the information.
Williamson said they have reminded the students who were not compliant as of Nov. 1 to get this information in by the due date by sending an email to their lionmails, hand-delivering letters to the students living on campus and mailing letters to commuters. For athletes, information was sent to their coaches.
Guffey said that this process is “a big push” to a degree that they have never done before.
For assistance and questions regarding immunization requirements process, contact Guffey’s assistant Taylor Schwede at (636) 627-4985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.