Immunizations offer protection against illnesses that can seriously affect your health and the safety of the community at large.
Before you provide your consent for vaccination, please review the information on our Vaccine Information Statements page. Students under the age of 18 require the consent of a parent/guardian to receive vaccinations.
Cost: Visit our Cost for Service page to learn about any charges associated with immunizations.
Available at Cornell Health
** REQUIRED for all new Cornell students [see New Student Requirements]
* 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 HPV vaccination helps prevent infection with the nine types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that are 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) recommends that students of all genders receive the HPV vaccine before entering college. However, the three-dose regimen (given at 0, 2 and 6 months) can be given to older adolescents and young adults through age 26. It is best to be vaccinated before the first sexual contact.
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.
Measles vaccinations for non-students: The CDC recommends that anyone born in 1957 or later who has neither had measles nor been vaccinated against it seriously consider getting vaccinated. College students, teachers, healthcare personnel, and international travelers are at increased risk for getting measles. Any member of the Cornell community – staff, faculty, post-docs, visiting scholars, retirees, and spouses/domestic partners of students – can get immunized against measles at Cornell Health in the form of the combined MMR vaccination.
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.
- Students less than 21 years of age should receive one dose of the quadrivalent conjugate meningococcal vaccine (which protects against A, C, Y, and W-135 types of meningococcal bacteria) at ≥16 years of age. This can be their first meningococcal vaccine or (for those vaccinated as children) a booster.
- Students may be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. This vaccine is recommended for people 10 years or older who are identified as being at increased risk, either because of certain medical conditions or a local outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease.
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 Health History Form.
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 Clinic provides a wide variety of vaccines that are required or recommended for travel to any location around the globe. Travel Clinic staff provides Cornell and Ithaca community members with pre-travel consultation, location-specific immunizations, and detailed health information.