UC system to require vaccinations for students in 2017

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The University of California system announced a plan Friday that will require incoming students to get vaccinated and screened for tuberculosis.

The plan - requiring vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, meningococcus, tetanus and whooping cough - is expected to be phased in over three years to allow students to prepare. It will go into full effect in 2017.

Currently, the state school system only requires vaccinations for hepatitis B, though some colleges have their own additional requirements.

"I'm really excited that there's support and momentum for this new immunization plan," said Dr. Gina Fleming, medical director for the UC Student Health Insurance Plan. "We know that these preventive measures are effective."

School officials said in a news release that the new policy was in the planning stages for a year.

During the phase-in, incoming fall 2015 students will be notified of the future mandatory vaccinations and tuberculosis screening. All students will be expected to follow the requirements by fall 2016, but the rules won't be enforced until fall 2017.

If students do not meet the vaccination requirement by the deadline, their registration will be put on hold. Exemptions for medical or religious purposes, however, will be allowed, Fleming said.

"We need to be mindful of the population we're serving," Fleming said.

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