Healthcare Students FAQs

ID Screening & Vaccination: Policy

ID screening and immunisation policy:  infdispolicy

ID screening and vaccination Forms:

The forms that must be completed by you and your doctor are available for download here: vaccform

TB Screening 

TB screening will be undertaken on incoming healthcare students. This screening will take the form of (some or all of): TB History screen, IGRA Quantiferon Tests, and a  Chest X Ray, as determined by the Student Health Doctor and according to your risk of TB, based on countries you have lived in for >1 month in the preceeding 2 years.

*High endemicity of TB is defined by the WHO as > 40 cases of TB/100,000 population.

Find the incidence of TB in your country of origin:  CLICK AND SEARCH: WHO TB INCIDENCE

Healthcare Electives

UCC HealthCare Students Elective Information

UCC Healthcare students who intend to arrange an elective attachment at another institution may need to complete health clearance and obtain certification of immunity. Please print out and read the document below for further details. You are asked to prepare your Forms and have a clear understanding of your requirements before submitting your Forms for confimatory signatures in Student Health and any subsequent attendances that may be needed.

elective medical form

Non-UCC HealthCare Students Seeking a UCC attachment or Elective.

Students who are not UCC Students and who intend to apply and complete an elective in a UCC affiliated Hospital or Clinical Unit are advised to contact the hospital or clinical unit, Occupational Health Department directly, to seek advice as to the requirements for that particular hospital or unit. You will be advised as to the requirements for Infectious Disease Screening, Immunisation, Exposure Prone Procedure Clearance which apply for that particular hospital or unit.

In some circumstances this clearance and immunisation can be undertaken by UCC Student Health at the request of the Hospital or Unit providing the placement.

Fees may apply, payable by the individual or the unit concerned

TB Screening for Electives:

Tuberculin Skin Tests are available on a limited basis for students who require TB screening in advance of acceptance for a clinical elective placement. Students may also contact the institution to which you are applying to determine if the receiving institution will accept alternative forms of TB screening.

For Clinical Elective Pre-acceptance screening, the IGRA Quantiferon test is acceptable as an alternative, occasionally coupled with Chest X Ray screening. 

IGRA Quantiferon testing and Chest X Ray screening for clinical elective pre-acceptance screening purposes can be arranged and undertaken through the Student Health Department UCC. IGRA testing requires attendance at the Student Health Department for a blood test, and costs 100 Euro.

Chest Xrays can be undertaken at local private clinics and costs can vary, upwards of 100 Euro.

FAQs: Screening and Vaccination Programme

Q: What immunisations are recommended for and provided for UCC Healthcare students?

A: Students (who are not previously immune by virtue of previously naturally acquired infection) should as a minimum receive or have received completed courses of immunisations for Hepatitis B (3 or in some cases 4 doses), MMR (2 doses), Varicella (1 or in some cases 2 doses).

Q: Do I need to have these immunisations before I start my course?

A: No, all the immunisations above will be available at your ID screening and immunisation appointments during your first year at UCC. If you have had some of these immunisations already, please bring documentation or your Doctor can include the dates when filling out your medical form.

Q: Which if any of these immunisations are mandatory for UCC Healthcare students?

A: None of the vaccines are mandatory however a student who declines to be immunised against these illnesses or who has a confirmed medical contraindication to a vaccine may be denied placement in certain healthcare settings, and as a result may not be in a position to acquire the necessary skills or core competencies for their programme.

Q: Is there a National Guideline as to recommended immunisations for Healthcare students?

A: The National Immunisation guidelines for Ireland (2008) edition outlines the recommended immunisations for people living in the Republic of Ireland. Chapter 18 details the recommendations for certain occupational groups, including Healthcare workers and Healthcare students. See website:

Q: Where can I get a copy of the UCC Healthcare Students ID screening and immunisation Policy?

A: The ID Screening and Immunisation Policy for UCC Healthcare Students can be downloaded from

Q: Are there any other immunisations which may be of benefit for Healthcare students?

A: Healthcare students should consider availing of annual Influenza vaccination and COVID-19 vaccination and boosters. They should ensure that they have completed the primary and booster course of Tetanus immunisations. These vaccines are available on request at the student Health department but are not included in the routine vaccination programme. An extra fee may apply for these immunisations.

Q: What is the Fee payable by students for the ID screening and Immunisation Programme?

A: If all your immunisations are complete the core fee payable is 110 Euro, and this is payable at the first ID screening and immunisation appointment. All students are liable to pay the fee unless the fee has previously been paid to UCC by you whilst undertaking another course or is paid by UCC+ .

Other fees payable for vaccines and TB screening blood test as required.





Hepatitis B vaccine 3-Dose Standard Schedule


Hepatitis B vaccine 4-Dose Accelerated Schedule


Hepatitis B additional doses (per dose)


Varicella Zoster vaccine (per dose)


Chest X Ray



Q: I have paid this Fee to UCC previously as part of another UCC course. Do I pay again?

A: Students are liable to pay the fee to Student Health UCC once only. If you have paid this fee to Student Health UCC previously let us know and we will confirm this in your records. You will not be liable to pay the fee to us twice. If additional service such as IGRA or CXR are required these will attract a fee

Q: I have obtained all these immunisations elsewhere; do I have to pay the fee?

A: Yes, you must pay the core fee of 110 euro. Your full immunisation and medical history will be reviewed and confirmed by the Student Health Department. You will be deemed to have cleared all the ID screening and immunisation requirements only after your Hepatitis B immunity status (in addition to full EPP bloods for those course undertaking Exposure Prone Procedures EPP’s) has been confirmed by an Identified Validated Sample (IVS) blood test undertaken in the Student Health Department, and written confirmation of all previous immunisations and/or TB screening has been received.

Q: Why do I have to pay a fee if I have been obtained these immunisations elsewhere?

A: The core fee of 110 euro is payable even if you require no further vaccination boosters or IGRA TB blood tests. This covers the cost of professional time involved in reviewing your immunisation and medical history, loading this data, undertaking the IVS blood test to confirm Hepatitis B immunity, the provision of personal certificates of immunisation, immunity and ID screening clearance, and the generation of annual reports of the immunity status of all students and co-ordinating and administrating the programme.

Q: Can I get a certificate of my ID screening and immunity status?

A: Certificates of your immunity status will be provided to you on request, once you have been deemed to have cleared the ID screening and immunisation requirements for UCC Healthcare Students. Directions on application for certificate of immunity status is available through the Student Health and Wellbeing webpage under ‘How to access your records’.

Q: What is involved in Tuberculosis screening and immunisation?

A: You must be screened to ensure you do not have Tuberculosis. This involves a ‘symptom and exposure’ questionnaire + IGRA blood test (if you have not had BCG vaccination previously or you have lived for >1 month in a country with high endemicity of TB in the previous 2 years)

BCG vaccine is currently unavailable.

Depending on travel history you may also need a chest x-ray.  You should remain vigilant and be aware of the symptoms of TB: persisting cough, night sweats, coughing up blood or weight loss. If in doubt and you are concerned, discuss with a Student Health Doctor.

Q: Is it mandatory that I receive/have received a full course of 2 doses MMR vaccine?

A: A full course of 2 lifetime doses of MMR vaccine is recommended for healthcare students training in Ireland. It is not mandatory, however. There has been a significant outbreak of Mumps in University over the past few years, with students ill and occasionally unable to complete examinations/missing time in University. Cases of Measles in Healthcare students have also occurred. None of the vaccines are mandatory however a student who declines to be immunised against these illnesses or who has a confirmed medical contraindication to a vaccine may be denied placement in certain healthcare settings, and as a result may not be in a position to acquire the necessary skills or core competencies for their programme

Q: Why are blood tests for IgG levels for Measles/Mumps not accepted as proof of immunity?

A:  Interpretation of mumps and measles IgG levels is problematic as there is no IgG level that definitely indicates immunity in those vaccinated. Evidence of immunity for individuals born in or since 1978 is documented evidence of 2 doses of MMR. In the absence of this evidence, you should be vaccinated with at least a lifetime’s total of 2 doses of MMR vaccines, minimum 1 months apart.

BCG Vaccine - Shortage of Supply

There has been an international problem relating to the supply of BCG vaccine with all stocks of the vaccine in Ireland exhausted since April 2015. This is due to manufacturing and distribution difficulties. 

The programme to screen Healthcare Students for Tuberculosis involves a series of TB screening questions, and in some cases an IGRA quantiferon Test +/- a Chest X-ray.

Healthcare Students who are concerned that they may have contracted TB or have been exposed to a case of open TB resulting in them developing symptoms such as:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained persistent cough ongoing for > 3 weeks
  • Unexplained fevers or drenching night sweats
  • Coughing up blood or blood stained sputum
  • becoming ill having spent time in a country with a high prevalence of TB - See XL spreadsheet above

should attend their Doctor or Student Health Department explaining their concerns where the Doctor can consider if further investigation is merited.

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