202473 Pre-matriculation requirements for colleges and universities: Is it time for all states to mandate as a condition of entry?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kevin W. Ryan, JD, MA , Health Policy and Management, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health, Little Rock, AR
Richard H. Hughes, IV, MPH , State Health Policy, Association of State & Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, VA
Pre-matriculation requirements for colleges and universities: Is it time for all states to mandate PIRs as a condition of entry for students?

Background: Several key groups have issued calls for higher education institutions to implement scheduled immunization protocols as a pre-matriculation requirement (PIR) for their student populations. Despite demonstrated increased risk burden of infectious disease for college populations and available and effective immunization interventions, not all states have mandated PIRs as a condition of entry.

Significance: Comprised of highly mobile representatives from diverse states and countries, post secondary student populations are presented with a disproportionately high risk of contracting many infectious diseases. State level PIR mandated protocols can lessen this risk.

Purpose: To demonstrate state authority to develop and implement PIRs as a mandatory condition of entry for students into post secondary institutions.

Methodology: A determination of state government authority to mandate PIRs and the extent and coverage of present state level PIR mandates was undertaken. The study was enriched through qualitative data collected through key informant interviews with campus health services administrators to better understand compliance levels.

Findings: Through exercise of their police power authority, all state governments have the ability to implement public health interventions. Yet despite demonstrated need, the existence of effective interventions, and evidence based immunization protocol recommendations, many states do not mandate PIRs. For those that do, significant variance exists regarding PIR requirements and compliance.

Conclusion: All states should consider developing and implementing a unified and coordinated PIR mandate under color of police power authority.

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate need for PIRs for higher education institutions and facilities. Demonstrate state authority to create and implement PIR mandates. Formulate a policy proposal calling upon states to exercise authority to create and implement PIR mandates.

Keywords: Immunizations, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health law attorney and faculty member in the UAMS College of Public Health. I have conducted research and published in the area of immunization mandates.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.