Who Needs To Get Vaccinated For Meningitis
Its especially important for you to keep all of your meningitis vaccinations up-to-date if you fall into a high-risk category for getting the disease. High-risk categories include:
- Certain Ages. Infants less than one-year-old and young adults between the ages of 16 and 21 are the most likely to develop meningitis. Its most important to have all boosters and available vaccinations at these ages.
- Crowded Settings. Large group settings like college campuses are where outbreaks of meningitis are the most common. Get your vaccines up-to-date before entering into these settings for extended periods of time.
- Certain underlying conditions. Some underlying medical conditions can increase your chance of getting meningitis. These include HIV and other conditions that weaken your immune system. Not having a spleen also places you at higher risk.
- Work that involves meningitis-causing agents. Microbiologists and any other researchers that regularly come into contact with the bacteria and viruses that cause meningitis are consistently at risk.
- Travel to certain areas. Some areas in the world like sub-Saharan Africa have higher rates of meningitis and the pathogens that cause it. Check with your doctor before traveling to new parts of the world.
Other Vaccines Against Meningococcal Disease
Several bacteria can cause meningitis and septicaemia, some of which can be prevented through vaccination.
The Hib/MenC vaccine is offered as part of the NHS vaccination programme to all babies after their 1st birthday.
The MenB vaccine is offered as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme to all babies at 8 and 16 weeks, with a booster after their 1st birthday.
Page last reviewed: 2 April 2020 Next review due: 2 April 2023
Are Students In College At Risk For Meningococcal Disease
In the 1990s, college freshmen living in residence halls were identified as being at increased risk for meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease and outbreaks in young adults were primarily due to serogroup C. However, following many years of routine vaccination of young people with quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine , serogroup B is now the primary cause of meningococcal disease and outbreaks in young adults. Among the approximately 9 million students aged 18-21 years enrolled in college, there are an average of 20 cases and 2-4 outbreaks due to serogroup B reported annually.
Although incidence of serogroup B meningococcal disease in college students is low, college students aged 18-21 years are at increased risk compared to non-college students. The close contact in college residence halls, combined with certain behaviors , may put college students at increased risk.
Is there a vaccine against meningococcal disease?
Yes, there are 2 different meningococcal vaccines.
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When Should I Get My Vaccinations
To make sure you’re immune, it’s important to get any vaccinations done several weeks before you leave for university.
In light of the coronavirus outbreak, you may find that vaccinations are currently not available. Speak to your GP or doctor for more information, as this will depend on policies currently in place in your local area.
Santa Clara University Law Student Sues College For ‘ruining His Career’ By Refusing To Let Him Complete His Studies There Or Give Transcripts So He Can Transfer Elsewhere Because He Won’t Get Covid Vaccine
- Santa Clara University student Ryan Driggs says in a lawsuit that his refusal to get vaccinated is preventing him transferring to a more prestigious school
- Driggs says that Santa Clara is not giving him his transcripts because he defied the school’s policy on Covid-19 vaccines
- Since December 2021, the school has required all students to be vaccinated and boosted against Covid
- Driggs is the third student this year who has filed a lawsuit against Santa Clara over their vaccine policies
- He hasn’t said why he doesn’t want to receive the shot
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What Are The Cdc And Acip Recommendations For College Students And Meningococcal Vaccination
- Any college students wishing to reduce their risk for meningococcal meningitis should be offered the vaccine prior to starting college. A booster dose of the vaccine is now recommended at age 16 or older. Even if you got it before age 16, you need an additional dose before entering college.
- College students, particularly freshmen living in dormitories, should be educated about meningococcal meningitis and the potential benefits of vaccination.
Where Do I Submit My Meningitis Record
In Person: Stop by the Admissions Office at any Dallas College location to drop off proof of meningitis immunization. The office is open Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m., and Fridays 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Online: You can also submit proof of vaccination through the Med+Proctor portal. Its easy!
- Register: Go to medproctor.com and click register to create a new account. Enter your email address and follow the directions to get started.
- Fill out any required personal, medical or insurance information. Download the required forms and follow the directions provided.
- Upload: Log back in to your Med+Proctor account and upload a copy of your forms. Make sure your forms are complete and legible. You will receive an email confirmation once the forms have been reviewed.
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Risk Of Invasive Meningococcal Disease
In the literature, there have been reports of localized outbreaks in colleges and universities, and these were mainly caused by serogroup C strains . In the United Kingdom, an epidemiological study was performed during the period from 1994 to 1997, and showed that university students had a 2.4-fold increased IMD risk compared with nonstudents of similar age in the same region . In the United States, during the 1998 to 1999 period, surveillance data indicated that undergraduate students had a 0.5 lower IMD risk compared with 18- to 23-year old nonstudents . In first year students, however, IMD risk was 1.4-fold higher than that in the general population.
Incidence rate of invasive meningococcal disease in Quebec, according to age, from 1990 to 1992. Data from the Quebec Ministry of Health, written communication
Behavioural factors associated with an increased IMD risk among university students were similar to those found for asymptomatic carriage and included residence on campus, residence in dormitories, visiting/spending time in cafeterias and bars, alcohol consumption, active and passive smoking, and French kissing . It is, however, difficult to disentangle the independent effects of these highly correlated variables. IMD in young adults is particularly severe. In a review of IMD cases among college students in Allegheny county in Pennsylvania, the case fatality rate was 11%, and 20% of survivors had permanent physical sequelae .
Risk Of Meningococcal Infection
For any individual, IMD risk is associated with the probability of exposure to a virulent strain of Neisseria meningitidis, and exposure is determined by the frequency, duration and closeness of interpersonal contacts, and by the prevalence of asymptomatic carriers among contacts . Bringing together groups of young adults in a university setting is a recipe for the transmission of meningococci. In a longitudinal study of asymptomatic carriage of meningococci among students in their first year at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, the prevalence rate increased from 6.9% on day 1 to 23.1% on day 4 in the first week of term in October, and was up to 34.2% in some groups in December . Independent risk factors for acquisition were frequency of visits to bar halls, active smoking, visits to night clubs and intimate kissing.
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Cdc Recommends Meningococcal Vaccination For People Identified As Being At Increased Risk During Outbreaks
CDC supports state and local health departments in investigating outbreaks and implementing outbreak control measures. During a serogroup A, C, W, or Y meningococcal disease outbreak, CDC recommends MenACWY vaccination for people at increased risk because of the outbreak. During a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak, CDC recommends MenB vaccination for people at increased risk because of the outbreak. People who have previously received MenACWY or MenB vaccine and become at increased risk because of an outbreak may be recommended to receive a booster dose depending on how long it has been since they previously received the vaccine.
Adolescents Are At Increased Risk For Meningococcal Disease
Anyone can get meningococcal disease. However, adolescents and young adults 16 through 23 years of age are at increased risk for meningococcal disease. In addition, college students have a slightly higher risk than other teens and young adults who are not attending college. Meningococcal bacteria can cause severe disease, including meningitis, bacteremia, and septicemia, resulting in permanent disabilities and even death.
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Deadly Meningitis B Targets College Students
Investigators from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that students who were aged 18 to 24 were 3.5 times more likely to contract meningitis B than their peers who were not in school.
The research team, led by Dr. Sarah Mbaeyi from the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the finding highlights the urgent need to ensure that all students get vaccinated against the disease before they head off to a university.
“Meningitis B is an uncommon but potentially deadly bacterial infection that leads to inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord,” explained Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
A meningitis B infection may “also may lead to meningococcal sepsis, or bacteria invading the bloodstream,” added Glatter, who was not part of the study. “The combination of these factors can make it lethal in less than 24 hours.”
The latest findings essentially confirm long-standing fears about college-related vulnerabilities, given that “the bacteria that leads to meningitis B lives in the nose and throat and can be spread by close contact from coughing, sneezing or kissing,” Glatter noted.
The findings were published in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Recommendations For Use Of Meningococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine In College Students
College freshmen, particularly those who live in dormitories, are at modestlyincreased risk for meningococcal disease relative to other persons their age.Vaccination with the currently available quadrivalent meningococcal polysaccharide vaccinewill decrease the risk for meningococcal disease among such persons. Vaccinationdoes not eliminate risk because a) the vaccine confers no protection against serogroupB disease and b) although the vaccine is highly effective against serogroups C, Y,W-135, and A, efficacy is < 100%.
The risk for meningococcal disease among college students is low therefore,vaccination of all college students, all freshmen, or only freshmen who live in dormitoriesor residence halls is not likely to be cost-effective for society as a whole. Thus, ACIPis issuing the following recommendations regarding the use of meningococcalpolysaccharide vaccines for college students.
Additional Considerations about Vaccination ofCollege Students
Although the need for revaccination of older children has not beendetermined, antibody levels decline rapidly over 2–3 years. Revaccination may be considered for freshmen who were vaccinated more than 3–5 years earlier. Routine revaccination of college students who were vaccinated as freshmen is not indicated.
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Meningococcal Vaccine: Canadian Immunization Guide
For health professionals
Latest partial content update :
: The chapter has been updated to align with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization Statement : The Use of Bivalent Factor H Binding Protein Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccine for the Prevention of Meningococcal B Disease.
MenB-fHBP vaccine may be considered as an option for use in individuals 10 years of age and older in situations when a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine should be offered:
MenB-fHBP vaccine may be considered as an option for individuals 1025 years of age who are not at higher risk of meningococcal disease than the general population, but who wish to reduce their risk of invasive serogroup B meningococcal disease.
Last complete chapter revision: May 2015
What Are The Symptoms Of Meningococcal Disease
Signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease include sudden onset of fever, stiff neck, headache, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and/or mental confusion. A rash may also be present. Changes in behavior such as confusion, sleepiness, and unresponsiveness are important symptoms of illness. Anyone who has these symptoms should be seen by a healthcare provider immediately. In fatal cases, death can occur in as little as a few hours, even with appropriate medical treatment. Less common presentations include pneumonia and arthritis.
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Persons With Inadequate Immunization Records
Children and adults lacking adequate documentation of immunization should be considered unimmunized and started on an immunization schedule appropriate for their age and risk factors. Conjugate meningococcal vaccine, as appropriate for age, may be given regardless of possible previous receipt of the vaccine, as adverse events associated with repeated immunization have not been demonstrated. Refer to Immunization of persons with inadequate immunization records in Part 3 for additional general information.
Where Does Meningitis Occur
Some regions are more likely to have meningitis due to environmental or other factors. These higher risk zones include:
- The Meningitis Belt This region of sub-Saharan Africa has more meningitis cases than most of the world. Three countries, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Niger, account for 65 percent of meningitis cases in Africa. In some communities in the belt, one percent of the population will contract meningitis during an outbreak. The countries in the belt are : Gambia, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea.
- Sub-Saharan Africa The rest of the region does have occasional outbreaks. Regions of note are Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Hajj PilgrimageSaudi Arabia has seen some outbreaks during the pilgrimage. Proof of vaccination is required for entry into the country during this time.
In Canada, dorms, schools or other areas with long-term close contact are sites of infection. Many educational centers now require proof of meningitis vaccination for enrolling.
Meningitis vaccinations are available at all Passport Health clinics. Call or make your appointment online now to schedule your appointment today.
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How Does Meningitis Spread
Each form of meningitis spreads differently. Viral and bacterial will spread person-to-person through air droplets, kissing or nasal secretions. Fungal and parasitic are ususally cause by environmental factors.
Viral and bacterial are the most common variants. They are most often spread within communities that live or work together. Dorm living, close contact and shared facilities are some common risk areas.
Some regions of the world are at an increased risk for meningitis. These include the meningitis belt in Africa and Saudi Arabia during the Hajj.
Are Students Required To Get Meningococcal Vaccine Before College
Yes. Massachusetts law requires the following students receive quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine :
- Secondary School : newly enrolled full-time students who will be living in a dormitory or other congregate housing licensed or approved by the secondary school must provide documentation of having received a dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine at any time in the past.
- Postsecondary Institutions : newly enrolled full-time students 21 years of age and younger must provide documentation of having received a dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine on or after their 16th birthday, regardless of housing status.
Immunizations should be obtained prior to enrollment or registration however, students may be enrolled or registered provided that the required immunizations are obtained within 30 days of registration. There is no requirement for meningococcal B vaccination. However, adolescents and young adults may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years of age, to provide short term protection for most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease.
More information about requirements and exemptions may be found in the MDPH document Information about Meningococcal Disease, Meningococcal Vaccines, Vaccination Requirements and the Waiver for Students at Colleges and Residential Schools.
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Student Support For Vaccination Requirements
According to a recent survey of 1,000 college students by College Pulse, an overwhelming 71% of students believe colleges have the right to require students to get vaccinated before returning to campus. However, 19% say they do not support vaccination requirements and 10% say they are not sure.
“Our recent survey on vaccines shows students’ strong support for requiring vaccinations before returning to campus,” says Anne Schwichtenberg, director of research at College Pulse. “Students are eager to resume their normal on-campus routines, and while there is some hesitation about efficacy and safety associated with the vaccine, especially for students of color, a plurality of students see the vaccine as the quickest path back to normalcy.”
She adds that students seem to prefer vaccination over social distancing policies.
“Students are more supportive of the vaccine than a nationwide mask mandate , or nationwide stay at home orders .”
Guidance On Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunization
To ensure the ongoing safety of vaccines in Canada, reporting of AEFIs by vaccine providers and other clinicians is critical, and in some jurisdictions, reporting is mandatory under the law.
Vaccine providers are asked to report AEFIs, through local public health officials, and to check for specific AEFI reporting requirements in their province or territory. In general, any serious or unexpected adverse event felt to be temporally related to vaccination should be reported.
For additional information about AEFI reporting, please refer to Adverse events following immunization. For general vaccine safety information, refer to Vaccine safety and pharmacovigilance in Part 2.
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