Vaccine Recommendations

Western is committed to providing the best experience for our students. As such, we encourage students to take responsibility for their health and well-being as they plan for the transition to university life.

Please read the information below about immunization recommendations and student health services offered at Western. We encourage you to take this letter to your family doctor or health care provider to ensure that your immunizations are up to date before you begin your university studies in September. Alternatively, if you are on campus, you can also visit our clinic for a review discussion.

Vaccine recommendations are as follows:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Western strongly encourages all members of the campus community to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Along with public health measures such as frequent hand hygiene and use of face coverings, vaccination is the most important step you can take to protect yourself, each other, and our community. Please visit the COVID-19 website for more information.

Influenza: University and college students should strive to minimize disruption of routine activities with any potential long-lasting illness such as the flu. This vaccine can help reduce the incidence and/or severity of the illness. Flu clinics usually occur in late-fall or early-winter at various locations on campus and in the London community, based on vaccine availability. For information about where to get your flu shot on-campus, visit our appointments page.

Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (Tdap): Adolescents routinely receive this vaccine as part of their 14- to 16-year booster shot. We strongly recommend that you make arrangements to receive the adolescent vaccine with the a cellular pertussis component, if you have not already received it. Adolescents and adults are often the source of pertussis infection for infants and young children. It is estimated that ten to twenty per cent of adolescents and adults in Canada are at risk of becoming infected with pertussis because protection from childhood vaccinations against pertussis decreases with time.

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR): Adolescents and adults born in 1970 or later should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine or have a blood test to confirm immunity to measles, mumps and rubella. There have been several outbreaks of measles and mumps in Canada with the majority of mumps cases reported among young adults

Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is a virus spread through contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person. All university and college students should ensure they have received a full series of Hepatitis B immunizations. In Ontario, you may have received this vaccine in Grade Seven. Students from other provinces and countries may have received this vaccine at birth. If you have never received this vaccine or have not completed a full series, you should arrange to do so.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV): The HPV vaccine is recommended for individuals ages 9-26 to protect against the virus that can cause cancer of the cervix, penis or anus, as well as genital warts. Three doses of the vaccine are required. Routine cancer screening should continue according to your health care provider’s recommendations.

Varicella: All university and college students who have not had chickenpox disease as a child, or without other evidence of immunity, should receive this vaccine. Adults who become infected with chickenpox are at higher risk of serious side effects from this disease.

Meningococcal Vaccine: There are several different types of meningococcal bacteria. The most common types in Canada are B, C, Y and W-135, and there are vaccines available that can provide protection against these strains. Meningitis diseases are rare; however, living in close quarters with others, such as in student housing, can increase the risk of transmission of this disease. Bacterial meningitis causes swelling of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, and can lead to severe permanent disabilities such as hearing loss, brain damage, seizures and even death.

Hepatitis A: This vaccine may be recommended for students who are travelling to certain destinations during the holidays. This vaccine is free of charge for men who have sex with men, IV drug users and persons with chronic liver disease.

For more information, please visit your local Health Unit or the Public Health Care Agency of Canada website.

Please call Health & Wellness Services at (519) 661-3030 or visit the clinic in Thames Hall room 2170 if you have any questions once you arrive at Western.