UT to require incoming students submit proof of measles vaccination before registering for classes

Starting fall 2020, all incoming University of Texas students will be required to show proof of having received measles vaccinations, says University Health Services.

Currently, only international students at UT are required to show proof of immunity to measles.

Students will not be allowed to register for fall classes unless they provide proof they are vaccinated for measles. UT says this is another way they are trying to keep students safe.

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According to University Health Services executive director Dr. Terrance Hines, they began working on the policy in 2019 in response to increased incidents of measles. Last year, the CDC reported 1,282 cases of measles in the US alone, including one in Travis County, almost triple the cases reported in 2018.

"Because of the rising incidence of measles in the United States, the University wants to be prepared and help our students prevent illness," Hines said.

Hines says the rise in measles cases raised concern for UT officials.

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"In the event of a measles outbreak, for example, not only would that infected student potentially be quarantine, but any unvaccinated or an immunized person may also have to be quarantine then that could result in missing classes, delayed academic success," Hines said.

In order to avoid that, UT has decided to implement a new policy for entering students, requiring them to provide proof of measles vaccination or immunity. Students will have to provide the university with health records, and once that's done, the student will be able to register for fall classes.

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 "The goal of our policy is to protect the health and wellness of the campus community and help students remain in class in route to their academic success," Hines said.

The new policy only affects incoming students, not students already enrolled at UT.