College freshmen, especially those who live in residence halls, are at a modestly increased risk for meningococcal disease compared to their peers.
There are 2 vaccines available at Student Health Services that are effective in preventing the disease caused by meningococcal bacteria. The vaccine for meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, & Y (Menactra®) is recommended for all 11-18 year olds, and also for freshmen living in on- campus housing as they are at increased risk of contracting this potential deadly infection. A booster dose is recommended at age 16-18 for those who received their first vaccination at age 15 or younger. Other students wishing to reduce their risk of meningitis may also choose to be vaccinated with A/C/W/Y vaccine.
A different vaccine (Trumenba®, Bexsero®), effective against meningococcal serogroup B, is recommended for high risk individuals age 10 years or greater, but may be administered to 16-23 year olds (preferably at ages 16-18) as desired. See CDC Site for more detailed information.
Vaccination reduces, but does not eliminate the risk for meningococcal disease.
For more information, read the Meningococcal Vaccine Fact Sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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