Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP)
The Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP) ensures students enrolled in health sciences academic programs comply with the requirements detailed in the University’s affiliation agreements with clinical and practicum training sites. These affiliation agreements require students to complete and document immunizations and tuberculosis (TB) screening as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for healthcare personnel. The requirements reduce the risk of exposure to communicable diseases for students and their patients/clients.
Please note: pre-health sciences students do not participate in HSIP.
Students enrolling in these UW health sciences programs that require clinical or practicum training to complete the degree should expect to receive notification from academic program staff of the HSIP requirements:
- Dentistry (DDS and most post-Docs)
- Medical Laboratory Science/Laboratory Medicine
- Nursing (ABSN/BSN/DNP/Certificate)
- Pharmacy Doctorate (PharmD)
- Public Health (MPH/GH/HIHIM/Nutrition)
- Rehab Medicine (DPT, MOT, P&O)
- Social Work (BASW/MSW)
- SPHSC (CoreSLP/MedSLP/AuD/AuD-PhD)
HSIP contracts with a vendor, CastleBranch, to track immunization and TB testing compliance. Each health sciences school or program sends instructions to accepted students for creating their CastleBranch account, including deadlines for meeting HSIP requirements. The tuition students pay quarterly includes an HSIP fee, which covers the cost of overall HSIP program administration.
Once you enter a participating health sciences school or program, you will pay the HSIP fee to cover the cost of administering the Health Sciences Immunization Program.
The amount of the fee is subject to change on a yearly basis and is attached to your tuition account for as long as you remain in your UW health sciences school or program.
The table below lists the HSIP fees for the 2018-19 academic year.*
HSIP Health Fee
|School of Dentistry (DDS and Post-Doc)
|School of Medicine (MD)
Other Health Sciences Programs
|Med Lab Sciences/Lab Med
|Rehab Medicine (PT, OT, P&O)
|School of Public Health (MPH/GH/HIHIM/Nutrition)
|Social Work-Seattle and Tacoma (BASW/MSW)
|Speech & Hearing (CoreSLP, MedSLP, AuD, AuD-PhD)
* The annual rate is divided into three or four quarterly amounts (depending on the program) and attached to the student's account during enrolled quarters.
These fees vary across schools/program based on several factors. For example, if you are in a field of study or clinical or practicum service with a high risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, you will pay a higher fee than students who are at low risk.
Click here for more specific details about how the health fee was calculated for the current school year.
Please note that the health fee is not health insurance. More information about getting health insurance coverage can be found on the Hall Health Center website.
We recommend students learn what health services are offered at the student health center on their “home” campus and in the community. Our Health Care Resources information sheet may also be of assistance for students who need initial or ongoing services in the WWAMI region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Health sciences students are not considered employees while engaging in education-related activities at clinical sites and therefore are not covered by workers’ compensation.
If an injury (such as tripping or falling) or exposure to illness occur during a clinical rotation, students should have coverage through personal health insurance , such as the UW International Student Insurance Plan (ISHIP), the Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP), a Marketplace health plan, or coverage through a parent or spouse.
Seattle campus students who pay the quarterly Services & Activities Fee receive some services from Hall Health Center, including one visit per quarter for acute illness or injury. Please visit the Hall Health Center website for more information on services provided and the associated fees.
Hall Health is open to students and non-students, and they accept various health insurance plans. Hall Health's website includes information about the Affordable Care Act, obtaining insurance and the specific plans that are accepted there.
UW students who are not on the Seattle campus may have access to services at an affiliated student health center if they are currently attending classes on another campus. Check with your campus' facility to find out what services may be available to you. The Health Care Resources Focus Sheet offers information and links to clinics and pharmacies available to the general public in many of the communities where UW health sciences students are located.
Please note that if you choose to receive care at Hall Health or any other clinic/provider's office, such as immunizations, TB screening, or titers (lab tests), you will need to obtain your HIPAA-protected records showing documentation of any service received and submit it to HSIP. This will allow you to maintain your compliance with HSIP requirements and avoid a registration hold.
If you would like a copy of your HSIP immunization record, please send a request via email to email@example.com. Be sure to include your full name and UW student ID number. HSIP will send the record directly to you, and you can then share it further.
HSIP does not routinely send any records to outside persons or organizastions, per FERPA regulations. As needed, we share your HSIP record only with your UW health sciences program staff (and clinical or practicum site, if requested) before and during placement, as indicated on the HSIP release form you signed at the start of your health sciences program.
Hall Health’s E-care is part of the personal electronic medical record (EMR) used by Hall Health and all of UW Medicine. It will show only the immunizations received at a UW Medicine facility, and the immunizations you asked your provider to document in your personal health record, if you are a patient there.
Hall Health and HSIP are administatravely separate UW units, and HSIP does not share student records with Hall Health, per FERPA regulations. Likewise, Hall Health does not share your patient information with HSIP, per HIPAA regulations. Therefore, if you would like to have your HSIP immunization record in your personal medical record (at Hall Health or elsewhere), you should request your records from HSIP at firstname.lastname@example.org and then share it with your healthcare provider.
Email Security: Students are encouraged to submit all forms and supporting documentation via email to email@example.com. We recommend students use their UW NetID email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to increase the security of electronic communication with HSIP. We do receive HSIP forms from students who use gmail or other outside accounts. We use students’ UW email addresses whenever possible.
Records Security: Records are stored on a secured UW Medicine database server. Our data security program is in compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule [45 CRF Parts 160, 162, and 164], RCW 42.17 [Public Records – Personal Information – Notice of Security Breaches], and various other federal and state security laws.
Records Security and Confidentiality: Documentation occurs in a combined student/employee electronic database, which is stored on a UW Medicine server. Records are kept and maintained under the auspices of FERPA, federal law governing educational records. Where these laws do not conflict, these records are also maintained in compliance with HIPAA. Information submitted to HSIP may be discussed, communicated, and/or shared with the students’ school or program and practicum or clinical training sites on a need-to-know basis prior to and during placement.
We recommend you receive one dose of Hepatitis B vaccine now, to boost your antibodies to a detectable level. This usually takes about a month. Then, four to six weeks after the booster dose, you should have the quantitative Hepatitis B Surface Antibody titer blood test drawn. Usually with this method there is a positive result (≥ 10 mIU/mL), and the documentation on the lab report should be adequate to prove your immunity to Hepatitis B for the rest of your health care career. This method of boost and titer is explained by the CDC in their latest guidelines (published in 2013) and summarized in this online algorithm.
Please send in your paperwork after the booster dose with a notation that the titer is pending. As long as we know that something is in-process, you will continue to be in compliance and allowed to register for classes. Send your titer report to us as soon as you receive the result. If the re-titer is negative, then you may need to be tested for the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (“carrier” status, or prior exposure to Hepatitis B disease). Or, perhaps you need to continue on with receiving the 2nd and 3rd doses of another Hepatitis B vaccine series. There are some individuals who need two series before they will achieve a positive antibody titer.
Please put a note on the form under the Hepatitis B section that says “Dose #3 and titer pending” (or whatever the case may be). We will be able to tell by the dates on the documentation you send in when the next items are due. We’ll give you a temporary waiver of the requirement that lasts until the next item due date. As long as you keep sending us documentation when you complete each item, you will continue to be in compliance and able to register for classes. Our tracking database will report you as compliant to your school or program as long as we receive the further documentation from you on time. The CDC recommends students complete their three-dose series prior to contact with patients or body fluids. This means you should start meeting the requirement as soon as possible after admission to your program. Please put your name, student ID number, and school or program on all correspondence to us.
It sounds like either you had a light case that did not prompt your immune system to build permanent immunity, or perhaps the lab test just wasn’t sensitive enough to pick up your immunity.
If you had not previously had the chicken pox vaccine, you will need documentation of two doses now. You can send us your documentation after receiving one dose and write “Dose #2 pending” on the required immunizations form. There is a minimum wait period of one month between the two doses. If you forward the documentation of the second dose four to six weeks later, we’ll consider you to have remained compliant with the requirements.
Please note: You should not repeat the varicella titer after receiving the immunizations. The CDC has stated that the currently available titer test may not be sensitive enough to detect immunity for individuals who have received the vaccine. The current standard of “immunity” is either positive titer or two doses of vaccine. So if you show documentation of two doses of vaccine, there is no reason to have another titer.
Our waiver procedure is detailed in the “Requirements for Compliance” policy posted on our website. HSIP grants waivers only for documented medical conditions for which there is a vaccine contraindication, based on the standards of care at the University of Washington.
Students must submit a signed statement from a medical doctor stating what vaccine is medically contraindicated, the documented reasons for the contraindication, and the duration for which the vaccine is contraindicated. The HSIP medical director will review and determine if the standard for medical contraindication is valid, and the student will be notified. If the standards are not met, the student will need to comply with the requirements.
If the standards are met, the student and school or program are notified. Students may be limited in clinical sites/situations where they can be placed with a waiver but, if possible, the school or program accommodates the student based on their particular need.
Waivers for non-medical/personal reasons are outside the scope of HSIP. In general, most schools/programs do not allow personal waivers. However, students who wish to discuss personal waivers of certain requirements should speak with the compliance officer or contact person for their particular Health Sciences school or academic program. Each school or program has different policies regarding personal waivers.
In the U.S., receiving BCG vaccine is not considered a contraindication to TB skin testing. TB skin testing occurs unless there is documented evidence of a prior positive PPD test. Chest x-rays are not interchangeable substitutes for a PPD. A chest x-ray is obtained only in the event of a documented positive PPD test. A negative interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) blood test is an acceptable alternative for an annual TB skin test.
Some students have had a positive TB skin test in the past but are unable to obtain the documentation. In those cases, provider verification of history is acceptable. A provider must complete the HSIP form with this information and sign for authentication to meet the documentation guidelines for our program.
Some students start interacting with patients, clients and community members within two weeks of arriving on campus. We need to ensure a safe environment for these students and the patients and clients they serve, and this is a difficult goal to meet if students do not arrive having already met he immunization requirements. In addition, the legal affiliation agreements between the practicum/clinical sites of practice and the University state that health sciences students have already completed all health care personnel immunization requirements.
Even with insurance coverage, some costs following accidental exposure to bloodborne pathogens (e.g., needle sticks) can be denied for reimbursement when claims are made. We have determined that it is more cost effective to use health fee funds to provide gap coverage in these instances, rather than to use these funds for pre-entry immunizations that are more likely to be covered by health insurance plans.