Immunizations (also known as vaccinations) offer protection against illnesses that can seriously affect your health and the safety of the community at large.
Required and non-required immunizations available at Cornell Health are listed below.
Before you provide your consent for vaccination, please review the information on our Vaccine Information Statements page. Note: Students under the age of 18 require the consent of a parent/guardian to receive vaccinations.
Getting immunizations at Cornell Health
Required immunizations for new students:
All new students taking six or more credits must complete Cornell’s new student health requirements process, which includes providing documentation that you've received the following required immunizations:
- Meningococcal vaccination or waiver
- Tetanus, Diphteria, and Pertussis
- Varicella (Chicken Pox)
- Tuberculosis screening (only required for some students)
Student are expected to meet these requirements before arriving at Cornell Health. If you are unable to do so, you must meet with our Requirements staff as soon you arrive on campus so they can review your records and help you make a plan for getting required immunizations / TB screening at Cornell Health.
Please visit Health Requirements for New Students for details.
Appointments for other students / immunizations:
- Schedule online: Appointments to receive Influenza (flu), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccinations may be scheduled online. Log in to myCornell Health, then select Appointments > Schedule an appointment > Primary Care > I need to get an immunization or allergy shot.
- Schedule by phone: Appointments for all immunizations listed below may be made by calling 607-255-5155 during business hours.
- Cornell Student Health Plan (SHP / SHP+) members can receive all required immunizations (those marked with two stars below) for no cost, along with annual flu vaccination. Health plan members ages 45 and younger can also get vaccinated against HPV at no cost. Check your insurance plan information (SHP or SHP+) for coverage for non-required immunizations.
- Those with other insurance can receive their annual flu vaccination for no charge. Check your plan for coverage details for all other immunizations.
Visit our Cost for Service page to learn more.
Immunizations available at Cornell Health
** REQUIRED for new Cornell students taking 6 or more credits [see Health Requirements for New Students]
* Recommended for all Cornell students
Chickenpox, or varicella, is a highly contagious childhood disease that can be severe, or even deadly, in adults. All students must demonstrate immunity to chickenpox (through previous illness or vaccination) upon entry to Cornell. Those who do not have evidence of immunity should get two doses of the vaccine at four to eight weeks apart. Most people who get vaccinated will not get chickenpox; and if they do, it is usually very mild.
NOTE: If you were born in the U.S. before 1980, the Varicella requirement for new students does not apply.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated against seasonal flu every year. Vaccination is available in the form of both shots and nasal mist. See our Annual Flu Vaccination page for more information about getting vaccinated at Cornell Health, or at one of our fall walk-in flu vaccine clinics.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is by getting vaccinated. Vaccination is recommended for:
- anyone traveling to countries where hepatitis A is moderately or highly endemic
- men who have sex with men
- users of injectable and non-injectable drugs
- persons who have clotting-factor disorders
- persons working with nonhuman primates
- persons with chronic liver disease
The Hepatitis A vaccine is given as 2 shots, 6 months apart. The hepatitis A vaccine also comes in a combination form, containing both hepatitis A and B vaccine, that can be given to persons 18 years of age and older. This form is given as 3 shots, over a period of 6 months.
Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease that infects an estimated 200,000 Americans each year, most of them adolescents and young adults. The CDC and the American College Health Association (ACHA) recommend that all college students get vaccinated against hepatitis B, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) urges vaccination for all college athletes.
The hepatitis B vaccine is 96 percent effective following a series of three shots over a six-month period.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)*
Of the more than 100 strains of HPV, those of greatest concern cause genital warts and cancer. The highly-effective Gardasil-9 HPV vaccination helps protect against nine types of HPV that are most often responsible for genital warts, abnormal precancerous lesions, and HPV-related cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, penis and oropharynx (which includes the back of the throat, base of the tongue, and tonsils).
The American College Health Association (ACHA) and CDC recommend that students of all genders receive the HPV vaccine before entering college. It is also recommended for older adolescents and young adults. It is best to be vaccinated before the first sexual contact.
Want to get the HPV vaccine at Cornell Health?
Gardasil-9 is given in a 3-shot regimen over several months (given at 0, 2 and 6 months). Schedule your appointment online (log in to myCornellHealth, then select Appointments > Schedule an appointment > Primary Care > I need to get an immunization or allergy shot), or by phone (607-255-5155).
- SHP / SHP+ members – HPV vaccination is FREE for students (and student spouses / partners) aged 45 and under who are enrolled in a Cornell student health plan.
- All others – The HPV vaccine is not covered by Cornell's student health fee:
Most private insurance plans cover the HPV vaccine, but you should check to make sure they will cover it at Cornell Health. If you have an insurance plan we participate with (Aetna plans, the Empire Plan, and TRICARE), we will bill your insurance directly. If not, you will be asked to pay for services at the time of care, and then submit a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Measles / Mumps / Rubella (MMR)**
Cornell – and New York State law – require that all new students have had a combination measles/mumps/rubella vaccine (two doses administered on or after the first birthday), or demonstrate that they have received individual vaccinations for measles, mumps, and rubella. Those who have not met this immunization requirement before coming to Cornell must get vaccinated at Cornell Health.
The CDC and the American College Health Association recommend that college students living in residence halls or similar housing get vaccinated to reduce their risk of meningococcal disease, since they are at higher risk compared with other people of the same age.
- The quadrivalent conjugate meningococcal vaccine (which protects against A, C, Y, and W-135 types of meningococcal bacteria) is recommended for all students between ages 16 and 21. This vaccine (given in one dose) can be their first meningococcal vaccine or (for those vaccinated as children) a booster.
- Serogroup B meningococcal vaccine series is recommended for everyone (10 years or older) who is identified as being at increased risk, either because of certain medical conditions or a local outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease. (Vaccination in this circumstance requires three doses, given at different times.)
Adolescents and young adults (ages 16 to 23) who are not at increased risk may choose to be vaccinated (two doses, six months apart).
New York State Public Health Law requires that all new students receive information about meningococcal disease and vaccination, and provide information indicating that they have been vaccinated or choose not to be at this time. Cornell students do this through the new student health requirements process.
Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. There are different types of pneumococcal disease, such as pneumococcal pneumonia, bacteremia, meningitis, and otitis media. Pneumococcal disease can cause severe illness, and even death.
The American College Health Association recommends that all young adults who have a disease or condition that lowers the body's resistance to infection (including asthma and current history of smoking) get vaccinated.
Rabies is a serious, but preventable viral infection that can be transmitted to humans by the saliva of an infected animal. Vaccination is recommended for people at high risk for exposure to the rabies virus, especially those who come into contact with potentially rabid animals or who are traveling to areas in which rabies is endemic. Otherwise, post-exposure vaccination is recommended for the general public after risk of exposure has been determined.
Tetanus / Diphtheria / Pertussis (Tdap)**
New students must demonstrate that they have received a Tdap vaccine within the past 10 years, or they will need to get vaccinated at Cornell Health.
Tetanus and diphtheria are both infections that can cause severe illness or death. Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can spread easily among people who live in close proximity.
Most U.S. students will have received a series of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccinations in their early childhood. Older children and adults receive booster vaccines called Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) to maintain immunity against these illnesses. If you review your health record and determine that you are due for a booster Tdap, please schedule an appointment to get vaccinated.
Cornell Health's Travel Services team provides a wide variety of vaccines that are required or recommended for travel to any location around the globe. Travel Services staff provides Cornell community members with pre-travel consultation, location-specific immunizations, and detailed health information. Some immunizations require multiple doses spaced out over a number of weeks, so please be sure to contact us to schedule an appointment at least six weeks prior to your departure. [Learn more on our Travel Services page]
Please note: Cornell Health is not able to provide the yellow fever vaccine at this time, due to a nation-wide yellow fever vaccine shortage. Those who require this immunization will be directed to receive the vaccine in Rochester, the closest location with available vaccine.