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Vaccination Policies

MMR Vaccine Requirement 

All students in Colorado attending an institute of higher learning are required to provide proof of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella disease if they were born on or after January 1, 1957. Students can meet this requirement in three different ways:

  • Submit immunization records showing they’ve received two doses of the MMR vaccine to the Registrar at otero-admissions@otero.edu 
  • Submit a medical exemption
  • Submit a nonmedical exemption

Medical Exemptions

Students with a completed Certificate of Medical Exemption (signed by a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathic medicine, advanced practice nurse or delegated physician’s assistant) can submit this certificate to the Registrar at otero-admissions@otero.edu.

Non-Medical Exemptions

There are two ways to submit a nonmedical exemption:

  1. Submit the Immunization Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption to the Registrar at otero-admissions@otero.edu. This certificate must have a signature from an immunizing provider in Colorado who is a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathic medicine, advanced practice nurse or delegated physician’s assistant.

OR

  1. Complete the Online Immunization Education Module. The Online Immunization Education Module is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It can take up to approximately 20 minutes to complete. Upon completing the module, students will be able to complete an electronic form to obtain a certificate of nonmedical exemption. Students will need to print and submit this certificate to Registrar at otero-admissions@otero.edu to meet the MMR requirement.

Additional information about medical and nonmedical exemptions, along with forms in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Somali can be found at: https://cdphe.colorado.gov/vaccine-exemptions


Meningococcal Vaccine Requirement

Incoming freshmen residing in student housing are required to complete and return a standard certificate of immunization. Students residing in student housing who have not received a meningococcal vaccine in the last 5 years shall review the information on meningococcal disease and meningococcal vaccine. If the student, or student’s parent or guardian for students under age 18, decides not to receive the vaccine, they must sign the Meningococcal Vaccine Waiver form. Meningococcal immunization records or waivers must be submitted to the Registrar at otero-admissions@otero.edu.


Find Your Immunization Record Through Your State's Immunization Information System (IIS)


COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Otero College requires students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, or receive an exemption, to access in-person learning and support services, live in the residence halls, participate on college athletic teams, or to participate in designated health sciences programs. The COVID-19 vaccination is not required as a condition of enrollment at Otero for students who are solely enrolled in online courses.

The COVID-19 immunization record or exemption must be received before the first day of the initial term of enrollment at Otero. The COVID-19 immunization record must reflect any second dose necessary for full immunization. Any of the following may be used as proof of vaccination:

  1. COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or World Health Organization Yellow Card) which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided, and dates of last doses administered.
  2. A photo of a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or immunization record obtained from the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) as a separate document.
  3. A photo of a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or immunization record obtained from CIIS, either directly or through the MyColorado application or another health application, stored on a phone or electronic device; or
  4. Documentation of COVID-19 vaccination from a health care provider.

COVID-19 immunization records can be submitted by email to otero-admissions@otero.edu  or in-person at the Student Services office at 1802 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050.

Exemption Requests

Students have the right to request an exemption from this vaccination for a medical or non-medical (religious or personal belief) reason. This procedure adopts the terms and definitions used by the State of Colorado for other vaccinations.  To request an exemption, students should submit the Medical Exemption Form or Non-Medical Exemption Form to otero-admissions@otero.edu or in-person at the Student Services office at 1802 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050. 

Medical Exemption Details

Students shall complete and submit the Medical Exemption Form signed by a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathic medicine, advanced practice nurse, or a delegated physician’s assistant.

Non-Medical (Religious or Personal Belief Exemption) Details

Students shall complete and submit the Non-Medical Exemption Form

Please allow 7-10 business days for an exemption request to be processed.

*If granted an exemption, students:

  • May be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing as directed by the Otero College.
  • May be required to wear a mask.
  • Must monitor College email daily for important health notifications.
  • Must isolate for a period of time as required by local health department regulations if test positive for COVID-19; and
  • Must quarantine for a period of time per local health department regulation if determined to be in close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.

*These requirements are subject to change based upon available and emerging epidemiological evidence and the overall burden of disease related to COVID-19 transmission on our campus and in our region.

Where the exemption from vaccination necessitates an accommodation for a disability or medical condition or an accommodation based on a religious or personal belief or practice, Otero College will engage in an interactive process with the student to determine which reasonable accommodations may be available. More information about Otero College accommodations process is available on https://libguides.ojc.edu/Home/AccessibilityServices.

Students with a recorded immunization exemption may be kept out of Otero College residence halls and prohibited from participation on student athletic teams or in designated health sciences programs during a disease outbreak; the length of time will vary depending on the type of the disease, the circumstances of the outbreak, and alternative options that may be available.

Students who have been fully vaccinated may participate in all activities and will be asked only to monitor and report any symptoms.

Revisions to Requirements

Otero College reserves the right to change any provisions of these requirements at any time and change shall become effectively immediately.

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