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Frequently Asked Questions

Not seeing your question answered here? Send an email to wellness@qatar.northwester.edu 

Immunizations/Vaccinations

What are NU-Q's immunization/vaccination requirements?

Northwestern University in Qatar requires all full and half/part-time students to provide healthcare professional (e.g. physician, nurse, etc.) documentation of vaccination for or immunity from:

  • polio
  • diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis
  • hepatitis B
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella
  • varicella
  • meningococcal conjugate

In addition, all students are required to have documentation of tuberculosis screening taken within the last year.

Learn more and access the Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate.

How do I access and complete the Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate?

  1. Complete the Student Information Form.
  2. Download and print the NU-Q Immunization and TB Screening Certificate form.
  3. Visit your healthcare provider (i.e., doctor), bring your childhood immunization records, and have them complete certificate form.
  4. Rectify any deficiencies identified.
  5. Upload the following documents here:
    • Certificate form signed/stamped by your healthcare provider
    • Any lab test results

Can I wait until I arrive in Qatar to complete the NU-Q Immunization and TB Screening Certificate?

While you are NOT required to submit the NU-Q Immunization and TB Screening Certificate until 30 days after the first day of classes, it is recommended that you complete the NU-Q Immunization and TB Screening Certificate in your home country prior to your arrival in Qatar. 

If you decide to wait to complete the NU-Q Immunization and TB Screening Certificate until after you arrive in Qatar, you will be responsble for finding a medical facility, making the appointment, getting transportation to and from the facility and paying for the tests/vaccinations.  You will not have access to free or low cost government vacciantions until after you receive your Hamad health card, which will be after the deadline to submit your completed Certificate.  For these reasons, it is recommended that you complete the NU-Q Immunization and TB Screening Certificate prior to your arrival in Qatar. 

It is a personal decision regarding where and when you get your NU-Q Immunization and TB Screening Certificate completed and you are encouraged to consider the convenience of completing it in an environment that is familiar to you.

 

Do I need to do the required Tuberculosis screening in my home country prior to arriving in Qatar? Where can this be performed and what test methods are accepted?

The TB screening portion of the NU-Q Immunization and TB Screening Certificate should be completed and interpreted within the 12 months prior to your registration at NU-Q.  Incoming students will register for NU-Q classes during new student orientation which is usually the week prior to the first day of fall semester classes.  For example, if you are registering for classes at NUQ on August 15, the TB screening date should be between August 15 last year and August 15 this year.   

Most primary healthcare centers or private healthcare providers can administer a TB screening.

NU-Q accepts the following TB screening methods:

  • TB skin test (PPD)
  • “Negative” Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA), such as T-SPOT and Quantiferon® TB Gold blood tests
  • Chest x-ray report or results of chest x-ray written on the NU-Q Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate

What do I do with the results for the medical tests mentioned in the State of Qatar Medical Clearance Acknowledgment?

Incoming students are NOT REQUIRED AND WILL NEVER BE REQUIRED to submit results from the medical tests mentioned in the State of Qatar Medical Clearance Acknowledgment.  These results are for you to verify for yourself that you are negative on the medical tests required by the State of Qatar to be eligible for a resident permit.    

Where can I have any necessary vaccinations performed?

In Qatar, vaccines, blood work, and record verification can be done at no or a low cost WITH A HAMAD HEALTH CARD at Hamad Medical Corporation's local primary health care centers or for a fee at private hospitals, laboratories, or clinics. Outside of Qatar, any primary healthcare center or any private healthcare provider can administer vaccinations. You are urged to have the necessary vaccinations completed prior to your arrival in Doha and submit documentation by the deadlinePlease note that incoming students from outside of Qatar will not receive a Hamad Health Card until several weeks after arrival.  It is recommended incoming students should complete the Certificate in their home country.  Students are responsible for any costs incurred in completing the Certificate and the NU-Q provided private health insurance does not cover the cost of the vaccinations.

May I submit immunization/vaccination documents in a language other than English?

No. The Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate must be completed in English. If your health care provider completes it in another language, please have it translated into English before you submit it.

I am a previous NU-Q student and will be returning. I fulfilled these requirements already -- do I have to complete them again?

If a previous immunization record is on file, it will be applied to the new program of study and you will be informed of any deficiencies via email. If a vaccination, TB test or laboratory report is needed, you will be expected to complete it by the appropriate deadline to avoid any penalties.

I have graduated and would like copies of my health file. How do I request a copy?

Student health files are destroyed 30 days after your graduation date.  You may email Counseling and Wellness to request a copy prior to this date.  In your email, indicated your class year and provide your full name.  

I am a transfer student from another Education City university. I fulfilled my previous university’s immunization requirement. Do I need to complete the NU-Q Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate?

If you are transferring to NU-Q from another Education City university and you submitted an immunization form to them, please complete this student information form and upload the immunization form you submitted to your previous institution here. Once your documents are reviewed, you will be informed of any deficiencies via email.

 

I have a medical condition and my doctor says I shouldn’t have certain vaccinations. What should I do?

If you feel that you are exempt from vaccination requirements based on a medical contraindication, religious belief, or pregnancy, contact Counseling and Wellness at wellness@qatar.northwestern.edu  to discuss the required procedure and documentation.

The required immunizations are not given in my country. What should I do?

If there are immunizations which you need and they are not provided in your country, upload a letter from your healthcare provider indicating this. Once you arrive in Qatar make an appointment to discuss obtaining the necessary vaccinations while in Qatar.

Can I submit copies of my childhood immunization records instead of the NU-Q Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate?

No, do not submit copies of your childhood immunization records. Instead, share those documents with your doctor and allow them to use these documents to officially complete the NU-Q Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate.

My healthcare professional no longer has my immunization records, and I can’t find my copies. How can I prove immunity?

Please consult with your healthcare provider about the manner in which you can become compliant with NU-Q immunization requirements. Frequently students in this situation will obtain copies of official immunization records from a previous school or their “International Certificates of Vaccinations” cards (usually for international travel, and yellow in color) and share these with their healthcare provider in order to determine prior vaccination. Another method of proving immunity is by titer (e.g. blood test, serology). Lab reports from “positive” titers are accepted as proof of immunity for measles, mumps, and rubella, varicella, and hepatitis B.

Two measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccinations are required, but I have only had one. What should I do?

Please consult with your healthcare provider about the manner in which you can become compliant with NU-Q immunization requirements. Frequently students in this situation may prove immunity by taking blood test and then the healthcare provider will make a determination if another vaccination of measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) is needed.

I took the measles vaccine when I was a child but I did not take the mumps or rubella vaccines. Should I take them now separately or along with the measles again?

Please consult with your healthcare provider about the manner in which you can become compliant with NU-Q immunization requirements. Frequently students in this situation may prove immunity by taking blood test and your healthcare provider will determine how best for you to be fully vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella.

The Hepatitis B immunization requires a series of three vaccinations, but I have only completed some of them. Is it ok to submit an incomplete Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate?

Some immunizations require a series of vaccinations. Only those vaccinations which are not yet due will be allowed to be incomplete. If you have had all the vaccinations which you can at this time, please submit the Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate even though it is incomplete. You will be required to complete all vaccinations and show documentation of having received them when they are due to remain compliant with the immunization requirements.

What should I do if I have not had one of the required vaccinations?

Please consult with your healthcare provider about the manner in which you can become compliant with NU-Q immunization requirements. Your primary healthcare center or any private healthcare provider can administer the required vaccinations you have not yet received. You are urged to have the necessary vaccinations completed and submit documentation by the deadline.

My healthcare professional completed blood tests to determine my immunity to MMR, hepatitis B, and/or varicella. Do I need to submit these lab tests results along with my Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate?

Yes, if you are using lab test results to show positive immunity to MMR, hepatitis B, and/or varicella, you must also submit the lab report(s).

I have had the BCG vaccination. Do I still need to complete the TB screening requirement?

Yes. Northwestern University in Qatar requires a TB screening to be completed and interpreted within 12 months prior to registration, even if you have previously received the BCG vaccination.

General Health Requirements

What are NU-Q's health requirements?

Northwestern University in Qatar requires:

Who must fulfill NU-Q's health requirements?

Students enrolling full-time or half/part-time in a given semester. Learn more about this classification.

Why do I need to fulfill health requirements to attend Northwestern?

The U.S. State of Illinois (where the Northwestern University home campus is located) mandates that all students enrolled full or half-time at a post-secondary educational institution shall present to the designated recordkeeping office (i.e. Counseling and Wellness) proof of immunity to diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, and meningococcal conjugate. The reason for this is two-fold, 1) to ensure that all students have proper immunity to avoid the spread of disease/illness throughout the campus community, and 2) to ensure that students are protected in case of any outbreak on campus.

Furthermore, Northwestern University in Qatar requires that all students adhere to additional immunization requirements due to close contact with other Education City students. These additional requirements are identified on the Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate.

Where can I read the actual U.S. state laws and rules governing immunizations?

What is the deadline for completion of health requirements?

View the deadlines.

Will I be penalized for not fulfilling health requirements by the deadline?

Yes, there are penalties for non-compliance with health requirements. It is very important that the Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate and required immunizations be submitted by the applicable deadline. This allows Counseling and Wellness time to process your documents and notify you of any deficiencies. 

Students who fail to submit their Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate, or fail to rectify ALL immunization deficiencies by 30 days after the start of classes will have a hold placed on their student account and won't be permitted to register for classes.  Only those vaccinations which are not yet due will be allowed to be incomplete at this time. Penalties are not assessed prior to the start of classes and won’t impact registration for classes for the fall semester.

Where do I submit my completed forms?

Your completed Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Certificate can be uploaded here.  Please also complete the student information form. 

Regarding the Hamad Health Card:  If you are not a resident of Qatar, you may complete your Hamad card application after you receive your Resident Permit and upload the application here.  If you currently live in Qatar, you may upload front and back copies of your active Hamad Health card here. 

How will I know if my forms are received and if there are any deficiencies?

You receive an automated message once you upload your health forms.  Upon processing the submitted health documents, Counseling and Wellness will send an email to your "@northwestern.edu" account to inform of any deficiencies.

We do not send information to anyone other than the student regarding these deficiencies -- and that includes parents. If you receive the email and you would like to forward it to your parents or other individual so they may assist you in retrieval of certain documents, you may.

Make sure to adjust your SPAM filters to allow email sent from “@northwestern.edu” so that you receive this email. We keep track of “returned” emails, otherwise we will assume it was received.

If you object to having this information sent via email, please send a message to wellness@qatar.northwestern.edu indicating your preference for communication.

I have not received confirmation that my form was processed. Should I call?

Forms are processed according to date of receipt. Depending on how many forms are received on a given day, it may take up to 3 weeks for immunization form feedback.  If you have specific questions or concerns email wellness@qatar.northwestern.edu or schedule a "health consultation" appointment.

I currently live outside of Qatar and I take prescription medication. What do I need to know if I am bringing my medicine with me?

You should talk with your current healthcare provider to discuss a continuity of care plan with regards to your treatment and medications.  If it is decided that you will continue with the current treatment plan, you should determine if your medications are allowed/prohibited in Qatar.  If your medications are allowed and available in Qatar,  you may decide to bring a supply of medications which will sustain you until you get an appointment with a doctor in Qatar who can monitor your condition.  It can sometimes take 4 weeks to obtain an appointment, depending on the medical speciality.  Please note that pharmacies run out of stock of common medications.  Consult with your physician to determine the best option for you given your new living situation.

When you bring medication into Qatar from your home country, please carry with you the following:

          The medications should be in the original packaging.

          A prescription signed and stamped by the physician for the medications and the amount you are bringing into the country.

          An official letter (signed and stamped) from the prescribing physician verifying dosage, diagnosis and treatment.

 

Qatar National Health Card

I am a Qatar Foundation sponsored student. How do I get a Qatar National Health Card?

If you are preparing to attend NU-Q and you will be sponsored by Qatar Foundation, you should complete the health card application after you receive your Resident Permit.  Find instructions to complete the application here 

Once you have completed the application you may upload your Hamad Health Card Application here

 

I am not sponsored by Qatar Foundation and I do not have a National Health Card. How do I get one?

If you are preparing to attend NU-Q and you are not sponsored by Qatar Foundation, you are responsible for obtaining and renewing your own Qatar national health insurance card. If you do not have a national health insurance card, you can apply for it by completing the health card application and submitting it to your nearest primary health care center. Learn more.

If you already have a national health insurance card you may check the validity and renew your card, if necessary, online via Hukoomi - Health Card eService

Once you have your valid Hamad Health card, you may upload front and back copies here. 

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