• Heart Failure
  • Cardiovascular Clinical Consult
  • Adult Immunization
  • Hepatic Disease
  • Rare Disorders
  • Pediatric Immunization
  • Implementing The Topcon Ocular Telehealth Platform
  • Weight Management
  • Monkeypox
  • Guidelines
  • Men's Health
  • Psychiatry
  • Allergy
  • Nutrition
  • Women's Health
  • Cardiology
  • Substance Use
  • Pediatrics
  • Kidney Disease
  • Genetics
  • Complimentary & Alternative Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology
  • Oral Medicine
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases
  • Pain
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Geriatrics
  • Infection
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Obesity
  • Rheumatology
  • Technology
  • Cancer
  • Nephrology
  • Anemia
  • Neurology
  • Pulmonology

Immigration and Vaccination: Do you Know What's Required?


The list of mandatory immunizations for legal immigration status has changed over the years. Are you up-to-date?

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"56768","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_7194941160446","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"7136","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 204px; width: 300px; float: right;","title":" ","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]As the political tradewinds continue to shift, increased scrutiny of persons immigrating to the United States is expected. One of the requirements to be allowed into the US is documentation of receipt of certain vaccines. Now, a spot-check quiz to see if you're up-to-date on specifically which vaccinations are required. 

1. Which of the following vaccines is mandatory, per federal requirements, in age-appropriate individuals?

A. Zoster (in persons over age 60)

B. At least one dose of Varivax

C. HPV (in persons between ages 12-28 years)

D. Seasonal influenza


image ©alexskopje/Shutterstock.com


Answer, discussion, and question 2 on next page>>


The correct answer is D. Seasonal influenza

Two doses of Varivax are required for entry, not one. HVP and Zoster vaccines were on the mandated list until 2009.

In 2009 the CDC listed 3 requirements for current and future vaccines to be on the mandated list for persons immigrating to the United States. To quote the CDC directly, the criteria are1:

 â–º The vaccine must be age-appropriate for the immigrant applicant

 â–º The vaccine must protect against a disease that has the potential to cause an outbreak.

 â–º The vaccine must protect against a disease that has been eliminated or is in the process of being eliminated in the United States.

Zoster and HPV had been on the required list until the above guidelines were approved by the CDC in 2009. Zoster does not have the potential to cause an outbreak, so was removed. HPV vaccine was removed at the same time since HPV disease does not cause outbreaks and is not anywhere close to being eliminated in the US.

I am a little confused as to why the seasonal influenza vaccine made the list as a mandated vaccine. Flu clearly is not in the process of being eliminated in the US. At the same time, I am fine with it being on the list given the mortality and morbidity associated with influenza season every year. The full list of mandated vaccines is: Other mandated vaccines include rotavirus, hepatitis A and B, pneumococcal disease, MMR, varicella, DTaP/Tdap, polio, and meningococcal disease.

2. Which of the following are considered valid exemptions from having to receive the mandated vaccines?A. Medical contraindication

B. Religious belief

C. Personal belief

D. No exceptions

Answer and discussion on next page>>

The correct answer is A. Medical contraindication

It is interesting to note that this requirement is stricter than requirements in many US states for children entering the school system.

These rules do not apply to persons entering the US on a temporary basis like tourists and businessmen, only to those applying for permanent immigrant status. 

A medical examination is required for all immigrant applicants at which time proof of having received the specific mandated vaccinations is required. In the absence of proof of a vaccination, the law requires that the vaccine be given at the time of the medical examination. 


1. CDC. Immigrant and Refugee Health. Laws and Regulations. New vaccination criteria for U.S. immigration: frequently asked questions. Accessed February 17, 2017. 


Related Videos
"Vaccination is More of a Marathon than a Sprint"
Vaccines are for Kids, Booster Fatigue, and Other Obstacles to Adult Immunization
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.