New proof-of-immunity report helps protect UW community

A new report developed in partnership with UW Information Technology will make it easier for Hall Health to track student immunization records and better protect the UW community against measles, mumps and meningococcal disease.

The report comes in time to support a new, more rigorous UW policy that went into effect in fall 2019 and requires all entering Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma students to demonstrate immunity to measles and mumps. Students under the age of 22 must also submit evidence of a recent immunization against the most common forms of meningococcal bacteria. Of the serious infections caused by the meningococcus bacteria, meningitis is perhaps the most well-known.

David Dugdale, Interim executive director of Hall Health and a UW Medicine physician

“It’s in the student’s best interests to be compliant with the policy,” said David C. Dugdale, interim executive director of Hall Health and a UW Medicine physician. “The first line of defense against getting sick is to be vaccinated. The second line of defense is to ensure herd immunity is in place. UW’s approach is to keep the UW community protected with high levels of immunized individuals.”

The report supports the UW’s Immunity Verification Program, led by Hall Health, which tracks student immunizations and ensures compliance with the University’s UW Immunization Requirement.

Hall Health notifies the student of what’s missing from the required vaccines, explained Dugdale. Pending compliance, the student is not able to register and given a one quarter deferral.

The new Immunization Report helps streamline the tracking process, and in doing so, makes the critical record-keeping more cost-effective. The report is available on the BI Portal, which is the University’s one-stop catalog and provides access to central data reports and analytics.

Support for developing the report came from the Report Prioritization Group, a tri-campus collaboration between UW-IT, Enrollment Management, and others who manage student data, which helps prioritize student reporting and analytics requests.

In December, The Daily reported  on funding challenges faced by the verification program. Dugdale said Hall Health has convened a workgroup to do a needs assessment and develop a plan for sustaining the program, and that plan will likely include involving UW-IT in future efforts.

But the report does more than make the tracking process more efficient, said Dugdale. It identifies students who aren’t fully vaccinated and which vaccines they haven’t yet received.

“In an outbreak, the report will allow us to notify those students who are vulnerable and better safeguard them,” he said. “The reporting contributes to a safer campus environment.”