Immunization forms and instructions on submitting documentation will be provided to students at the beginning of each Academic year. All students are required to comply with the Communicable Disease and Immunization Policy and undergo the following vaccinations and/or testing procedures:

  • Chicken Pox Vaccinations (2 Doses)

  • Hepatitis B Titre

  • Influenza Vaccination

  • Polio Vaccination

  • Titres Vaccination (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR))

  • Tuberculosis Testing (2-Step)

Communicable Disease and Immunization Policy

All Students

  1. The Faculty of Pharmacy will inform students that:

  • they may be required to take part in the care of patients with various communicable diseases including hepatitis, TB, and HIV, during their clinical rotations;

  • they will be instructed regarding methods of preventing the spread of communicable diseases;

  • there is a risk that they may contract a communicable disease during the course of their rotations;

  • they have a responsibility to prevent the spread of communicable diseases to others;

  • they will be required to comply with Faculty immunization requirements;

  • students with a communicable disease may participate in experiential placements only as long as their (continued) involvement does not pose a health or safety hazard to themselves or to others;

  • students will be required to comply with provincial communicable diseases surveillance protocols developed under the Public Hospitals Act/Regulation 965; students may be required to give body fluid specimens if they are exposed to or contract certain diseases while working in practice sites.

  1. Students with tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV infection are required, prior to beginning practical experience rotations, to inform the Associate Dean, Professional Programs of their condition. Strict confidentiality concerning the student’s state of health will be maintained. 

Students With A Communicable Disease

  1. All students are expected to be in a state of health such that they may participate in the academic program, including patient care, without posing a risk to themselves or to others. Students with a communicable disease may participate in experiential placements only as long as their continued involvement does not pose a health or safety hazard to themselves or others.

  2. Students who acquire a communicable disease are required to seek medical opinion.

  3. In addition to complying with other regulations, students with tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV infection must notify the Associate Dean, Professional Programs who may consult with experts as appropriate.

  4. The health status of the students shall remain confidential.

Students Caring For Patients With Communicable Diseases

  1. Students are required to participate in the care of all patients assigned to them, including patients with communicable diseases, to a level commensurate with their level of training. Such participation is necessary for the student’s learning as well as for satisfactory completion of academic requirements.

  2. All students are expected to understand and adhere to infection control policies, including the principles of body substance precautions, when participating in the assessment and care of all patients, regardless of the patient’s diagnosis.

  3. Students are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner which is consistent with the health and safety of themselves and others and shall be given appropriate training to do so. Students who fail to meet these responsibilities may, depending on the circumstances, face sanctions under the provisions of the Standards of Professional Practice Behaviour for All Health Professional Students.

  4. Students are required to comply with the immunization policies of the Faculty.

Students Exposed To A Communicable Disease During Experiential Placements

  1. Students who incur an injury or other medically related incident that may place them at risk of acquiring a communicable disease, during the performance of activities as a part of their experiential placement, must immediately seek medical attention. The incident must be reported by the student, at the earliest opportunity, to their preceptor who will contact appropriate institutional/corporate offices and to the Associate Director, Education or designate. Required documentation must be completed. The Associate Director, Education or designate will follow up to assure that documentation is completed and that appropriate counselling is provided.

Co-Responsibility with Practice Sites

The Faculty of Pharmacy and the practice sites each are responsible for ensuring that students are adequately instructed in infection control as it relates to communicable diseases. This will include the following:

  1. The Faculty will provide information on body substance precautions and infection control and inform students as to their responsibilities with respect to infection control.

  2. Affiliated institutional practice sites are required to comply with the Communicable Disease Surveillance Protocols for Ontario Hospitals developed under the Public Hospitals Act/Regulation 965. Compliance with these Protocols requires the hospitals to provide instruction in infection control precautions.

Immunization Requirements 

Notice of the specific immunization requirements, including deadlines for submission of documentation, is provided to pharmacy students prior to starting experiential placements.

Documentary proof of current required immunization against specific diseases must be submitted by the specified date. In addition, chest X-ray and titre results and documentation of history of specific infections, where relevant, are also required.

STUDENTS WHO FAIL TO COMPLY WITH IMMUNIZATION AND DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PROCEED TO EXPERIENTIAL PLACEMENTS.


Immunization FAQ’s

Faculty immunization requirements are listed in the “Policies on Communicable Diseases and Immunizations for Undergraduate Pharmacy Students”.

General

Where can I find the University of Toronto Immunization Form?

Immunization forms will be available in Student Acceptance Packages and beginning of Year 1. Please note that Year 1 students must have their TB valid until the end of August of their first year.

Where can I find my immunization information?

Your immunization records are available either from your physician, elementary/high school or by contacting the Association of Public Health Units in your area; http://www.cpha.ca/en/about/offices.aspx

Is the yellow immunization record accepted as proof of immunization?

It is not, you still require the Immunization Record form to be completed and signed by a Health Care Professional. You can however include a photocopy with your form.

Where can I get my immunizations?

You can get immunizations at any physician’s office or at the UofT Student Health Services.

Do I have to take a copy of my immunization documentation to my site?

Some institutional sites require that students produce immunization documentation. All students are to keep a copy of their immunization documentation in case it is requested at their site.

If I have to submit my vaccination documentation to the Faculty anyway, why can’t the Faculty send my information to the sites that require it?

Due to the confidential nature of this information, students are responsible for providing sites with their own immunization documentation.

Tuberculosis Testing

Is the Mantoux test and Tb test the same thing?

Yes.

What does a 2-step Tb test involve?

Two injections approximately 1-3 weeks apart. Each injection is ‘read’ after 48-72 hours.

I have never had a Tb test before. My health care professional thinks that only one step is necessary, do I need to have the second step?

You need a documented two-step test. Each year thereafter is a one-step test.

The first step of my 2-step Tb test is negative. Do I have to have the 2nd step?

Yes. A single Tb test may elicit little response, but a second test anytime from one week to one year later may elicit a much greater response. This ‘booster effect’ may indicate a past Tb infection.

I had a documented 2-step Tb test done previously. Do I need to have another 2-step test this year?

No. If you had a two-step test done at any time and this is documented, you only need a one-step test this year.

My recent Tb test was positive. Is this unusual?

Every year a number of students discover that their Tb tests are positive. A positive test doesn’t necessarily mean that you have Tb, but you may have been exposed to it in the past. Your MD will determine whether treatment is required, based on your chest x-ray and size of reaction to the test.

What documentation do I submit if my Tb test is positive?

See “Policies on Communicable Disease and Immunizations for Pharmacy Students”. 

Titres (measles, mumps, rubella (MMR))

If I only have documentation of one MMR dose, do I need another dose?

Yes. It is now a requirement to have documentation of two doses of MMR.

Do I require titres if I have proof of immunization?

If you provided proof of immunization (two doses), titres are not required.

How long does it take to get the results of titres?

It usually takes about 3-4 weeks. Therefore, you should take this into consideration, to ensure all documentation is complete by the deadline.

If any of my MMR titre results are “indetermined” do I need to be vaccinated?

Yes you need be vaccinated.

Can I be cleared for registration if I can prove that I had my titres done, but I am waiting for the results?

No. All documentation must be complete for students to be cleared for registration.

Polio

If I do not have proof of my polio booster series, what can I do?

It is recommended that you receive a booster and provide proof of booster.

Chicken Pox (Varicella Zoster)

What kind of documentation do I need for chicken pox?

You must have 2 documented doses of the vaccine or positive titre results for antibodies. The results of the titre must be documented on the immunization record. A history of chicken pox is no longer sufficient.

Hepatitis B

Do I require a HepB titre if I received the HepB series shots?

A titre is required. Students must have lab evidence of immunity. If students are non-immune, further testing is required (see details on immunization record).

What if I find out that I’m a hepatitis B carrier?

Your health care professional will counsel you on safety issues, precautions etc. In addition, the “Policies on Communicable diseases and Immunization for Pharmacy Students” state that you must notify the Associate Dean if you have a communicable disease (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Tb or HIV infection).

Influenza Vaccine

Do I require the ‘flu vaccine’?

The influenza vaccine is strongly recommended. Many institutional sites require that all their personnel receive the ‘flu vaccine’. Keep a copy of your vaccination record in case it is required by the site. Students who choose not to have an annual influenza vaccination should be aware that they may be limited from clinical placements in hospitals.

Can I have my ‘flu’ shot in the summer?

No. Influenza vaccine is not available until about October each year.