Don't forget about meningitis B: UHS encouraging students to get vaccinated
“Penn State encourages students to have regular and ongoing conversations with their health care provider about immunizations and the importance of staying up-to-date.”
December 3, 2018
Penn State News
Months or even years after New Student Orientation, it can be difficult for students and their families to remember what vaccines they’ve received, what boosters they’re due for, and, in many cases, what the difference is among them.
To protect their own health and the health of the campus community, Penn State encourages students to have regular and ongoing conversations with their health care provider about immunizations and the importance of staying up-to-date.
One uncommon, yet potentially serious vaccine-preventable health threat among students is meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, which can be further classified into five primary serogroups: A, B, C, Y and W. The infection has the potential to cause major neurological dysfunction, motor impairment, loss of limbs, and other serious complications, including death.
College students in close living environments may be especially at risk for the disease. While Penn State currently requires students living in University housing to be immunized against serogroups A, C, Y and W through the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, the University strongly recommends that students also receive the meningitis B vaccine.
Often referred to by the drug names Trumenba and Bexsero, the meningitis B vaccine was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2014. The vaccine is recommended for individuals ages 10 to 25 and protects against meningococcal disease caused by the serogroup B bacteria — a strand that, until recently, has not been vaccine-preventable.
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