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: All required immunizations (those marked with two stars below) are covered with no cost for students on Cornell's Student Health Plan (SHP) and SHP-Medicaid (SHP-M). SHP and SHP-M members ages 26 and younger can also get vaccinated against HPV at no cost. Those with other insurance should check their plan for coverage details. Visit our Cost for Service page to learn more.
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 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) recommends that students of all genders receive the HPV vaccine before entering college. However, the vaccine can also be given to older adolescents and young adults. It is best to be vaccinated before the first sexual contact.
Gardasil-9 is available at Cornell Health, and is effective for students of all sexes / genders through the age of 26. The vaccine is given in a 3-shot regimen over several months (given at 0, 2 and 6 months). There is no charge for students on Cornell's Student Health Plan (SHP or SHP-M). The Student Health Fee does not cover HVP vaccination, but most private insurance plans do (check your plan to confirm coverage).
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.
- 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 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 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. 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 Clinic 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.