Vaccinations for International Students in the US

The words vaccinations or immunizations have taken a whole new place in our society after two years into a pandemic. Usually, vaccination was a word reserved for illnesses like Measles or Chickenpox. However, COVID-19 brought up the importance of actually getting immunizations as the virus caused international borders to be closed for months. 

The work of Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur pioneered vaccinations and helped society combat viruses and even eradicate illnesses that killed millions centuries ago. It is ironic that a pandemic in the 21st century has many people questioning the effectiveness of vaccinations so let’s take a closer look at the most important vaccines that you probably already have or will need to get before studying in the US: 

Vaccinations needed to study in the US

Some of the most common vaccinations required for studying in the United States include MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella), Tetanus-Diphtheria-Petussis (TDAP), Varicella (Chickenpox), Hepatitis B, and Polio. Additional vaccines may be required such as Meningococcal B (Meningitis), HPV, Flu shot, TB test (Tuberculosis).

Most of these immunizations are given to you as a child. Some may require booster shots as you age. However, it is recommended that you obtain your vaccinations at home before your travel as preventative care is very expensive in the US and you may be putting yourself at risk. 

Can I get vaccinated while I’m in the US?

Yes, you can get vaccinated when you arrive in the United States before starting classes. However, please note that vaccinations in the US can be very expensive. It is more cost-effective to obtain your vaccinations at home. Let’s take a look at the cost of vaccinations in the US: 

VaccineAverage Cost (USD)*
MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)$100
Tetanus-Diphtheria-Petussis (TDAP)$55
Varicella (Chickenpox)$170
Hepatitis B$127
Polio$100
Meningococcal B (Meningitis)$150
HPV (Human Papillomavirus)$235
Flu shot$30
TB test (Tuberculosis)$100
Covid-19 Free (Currently Government Subsidized)

*Average cost taken from GoodRX

Do you offer plans that cover vaccinations?

Yes! We offer student plans that will cover some of the cost for specific vaccinations as such:

  • Student Secure plan – Elite level: This plan will offer coverage for up to $150 maximum for Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR); Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (TDAP); Chicken Pox (Varicella); Hepatitis B; Meningitis (Meningococcal MCV4 and B); and COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations
  • Geoblue – Navigator plan: The plan offers coverage for immunizations recommended by the CDC and travel vaccinations.
  • Cigna Global plan: By adding the International Outpatient coverage, you will be covered for Influenza (flu); Tetanus (once every 10 years); Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Meningitis; Rabies; Cholera; Yellow Fever; Japanese Encephalitis; Polio booster; Typhoid; HPV; and Malaria vaccinations.

Since vaccinations fall under preventative care, it is important to note if your plan offers coverage for them. Be sure to check with your insurance administrator to confirm if you have coverage for vaccinations or immunizations. If you don’t have an insurance plan that offers coverage for vaccinations, the US Department of Health and Human Services offers guidance on where to seek free or low-cost vaccinations.


Posted by Yessica Prato

Yessica joined the team in 2016. Originally from Colombia, she migrated to the United States in 2005 with her family. She has had the opportunity to travel through Latin America and Europe. Her interest in education and international studies along with her experience in bilingual customer service led her to EIC. When not in the office, you'll find her immersed in a good book or with her dogs at the beach.

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