HUHS Health Information Services/Medical Records
I cannot meet the immunization form deadline, what should I do?
Please upload your information to the Patient Portal as soon as possible, as we need to process information for thousands of students. You will need to provide all of your information and be in compliance with Massachusetts and Harvard University regulations prior to your School's registration deadline. Registration holds are placed on students who are not in compliance.
I cannot access the Patient Portal. What can I do?
You will need to activate your HarvardKey in order to access the HUHS Patient Portal. For more information about how to claim your HarvardKey, and when it will be available, please visit key.harvard.edu. You will receive your HarvardKey from your program, not HUHS. Please contact your program regarding issues obtaining a HarvardKey. Once you have your HarvardKey, login to huhs.harvard.edu/patient-portal.
My records are no longer available from my doctor. What can I do?
If you are a graduate student, you may be able to contact your undergraduate program’s health services to obtain a copy of your immunization history.
Students who have no immunization records can create an immunization record while a student at Harvard University. If you have no records you will need to obtain all necessary vaccines or blood tests (titers) to measure your immunity to the following required immunizations: Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella (Chicken Pox). Please note that if your results show that you do not have immunity, you will be required to obtain the immunizations. The following immunizations are not able to be tested for immunity and would need to be obtained prior to your registration date: Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap) and Meningococcal.
My titer results were equivocal. What should I do?
You will need to obtain the required immunization.
What if I have not taken the second vaccine in a series?
Harvard University requires that the first shot in a series must be complete prior to the first semester for which a student is registered. The remaining immunizations must be completed prior to registration for the second semester.
How do I prove immunity to chickenpox (varicella)?
Your physician can complete the HUHS Immunization History Form and note a history of chicken pox. You can also have a blood test (titer) to prove immunity. Please note that if your results show that you do not have immunity, you will be required to obtain the immunizations.
CAN I scan and email forms?
Forms should be uploaded to our Patient Portal. Please note, you will need to activate your HarvardKey in order to access the Patient Portal. For more information about how to claim your HarvardKey, and when it will be available, please visit key.harvard.edu. You will receive your HarvardKey from your program, not HUHS. Please contact your program regarding issues obtaining a HarvardKey.
Uploading forms is the preferred method; however, if you are unable to upload your forms to the portal, you may submit via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), mail, or fax (select only ONE way).
Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap) is not available to me. What should I do?
When you arrive at Harvard you can contact HUHS to make an appointment. If appointments are not available, you will be provided with a listing of local clinics to make an appointment to obtain the vaccine. Please be aware that the formulation for this immunization must contain Pertussis—some students obtain a vaccine with Polio vs. Pertussis and must be immunized again.
My TDAP vaccine meets the regulations for the State of Massachusetts. Why am I being asked for an additional TDAP?
At this time, regulations for the State of Massachusetts recommend one TDAP in a lifetime and TD every ten years. As a private institution, we can require immunizations ahead of the state making a regulatory requirement. Due to previous outbreaks of Pertussis on campus, HUHS believes that there is evidence that it is in the best interest of the University and the overall public health that students should have more recent Pertussis immunization protection.
In the case of countries that do not provide the TDAP immunization, students can receive the TDAP here on campus at the Fall Semester immunization clinics at the end of August.
I have a previous chart on file at HUHS. Do I have to resubmit records?
HUHS will be able to review your prior records. If requirements have changed, you will need to obtain additional immunizations.
I am a family member. Do I have to submit health history information?
No only students matriculating at Harvard University are requested to submit an immunization history.
Can I send in other medical forms with immunization/Physical exam information?
Yes, as long as the information you are sending is official we will accept it. Examples of other documentation include records from your primary care physician's office, printouts from another patient portal, records from another school you attended. Please note that forms must be in English, contain full dates for each immunization (i.e. month, date, year), be certified by a health care provider or medical records official, and must demonstrate compliance with Massachusetts and Harvard University regulations.
What if my parent/guardian knows the dates? Can they fill it out?
No. Massachusetts regulations require that a physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or school official sign the form.
How do I know if my forms have been accepted?
You can log into the Patient Portal to check your immunization status on the Immunization Tab. Please allow several weeks for processing of your information before checking your status in the Patient Portal.
Is a physical exam required?
In order for clinicians at HUHS to provide you with care while you are student, a physical exam from your current provider is requested.
I do not wish to obtain immunizations. Do I really need to get them all?
The only circumstances under which a student may be exempted from the Massachusetts Immunization Law are as follows:
- Certification in writing by an examining health care provider who is of the opinion that your physical condition is such that your health would be endangered by one or more of the immunizations. You will be required to submit laboratory evidence of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella, and if not immune, you may need to leave campus in the event of an outbreak.
- You state in writing that the required immunizations would conflict with your religious beliefs. It is recommended that you present evidence of immunity as above. Otherwise you may have to leave campus in the event of an outbreak.
If you are claiming vaccine exemption, complete the Student Vaccine Exemption Form. Medical exemption requires the completed Student Vaccine Exemption Form in addition to your medical provider’s letter stating your need for exemption. Meningitis exemption requires the Massachusetts Waiver for Meningococcal Vaccination Requirement Form in addition to the Student Vaccine Exemption Form. Religious exemption requires completion of the Student Vaccine Exemption Form.