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Recommended Immunizations

Immunizations that MAY BE RECOMMENDED for college students:

 

Hepatitis A:  Hepatitis A may cause fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, malaise, anorexia, abdominal discomfort, dark urine and jaundice.  Two doses separated by 6-18 months are recommended to help prevent hepatitis A, a disease acquired primarily by the fecal-oral route by either person-to-person contact or ingestion of contaminated food or water.  Groups at increased risk for hepatitis A or its complications include international travelers, men who have sex with men, and users of illegal drugs.  Persons who have chronic liver disease are at increased risk for severe adverse consequences of Hepatitis A infection. 

 

Hepatitis B:  Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that affects the liver and can cause a lifelong,  chronic infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death.  The hepatitis B vaccine is strongly recommended for all young adults and is now universally recommended beginning at birth.  In North Carolina, Hepatitis B vaccine is required for individuals born after July 1, 1994 for entry into school (K-1).  Adults who are at increased risk of hepatitis B infection include sexually active heterosexuals with more than one sex partner or a history of a sexually transmitted disease, men who have sex with men, and persons at occupational risk of contact with human blood.

 

Human Papillomavirus (HPV):  HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. and is the leading cause of cervical cancer.  Currently the vaccine is recommended for all individuals 9-26 years of age.  This vaccine helps prevent cervical, vulvar, vaginal cancers and pre-cancers in females, as well as anal cancers and pre-cancers and genital warts in both females and males.

 

Influenza:  This infection is spread by respiratory droplets and individuals in closed populations (e.g. residence halls and classrooms) are at increased risk.  Thus, all students are recommended to get this vaccine.  Vaccination reduces the likelihood of becoming ill, reduces the severity of symptoms of an influenza illness, minimizes the disruption of routine activities, and reduces complications in persons with chronic illness.  Students with chronic medical conditions (e.g. extreme obesity, cigarette smokers, asthmatics) are at increased risk and should be vaccinated.  The vaccine should be repeated yearly in the fall, ideally in October to mid-November to receive the most benefit.

 

Meningococcal (Meningitis): 

There are 2 separate meningitis vaccines that can help protect you against the most common meningococcal strains that cause illness in the United States:

  • MenACWY vaccine and
  • MenB vaccine

College students can receive both of these vaccines to decrease their chances of getting meningococcal disease.

MenACWY vaccine

Get the vaccine if you are a first year college student living in residence halls and you have not received a dose on or after your 16th birthday (i.e. a booster dose). 

Any college student can receive the vaccine to decrease their chances of getting meningococcal disease. 

Military recruits, individuals who travel to or live in meningococcal endemic countries, microbiologists who work with the Neisseria meningitides bacteria and those without a spleen are at an increased risk of contracting meningococcal disease and should receive a single dose of this vaccine. Those who remain at increased risk of contracting meningococcal disease should receive a booster dose at least every 5 years. 

The vaccine does not protect against all subtypes of meningococcal meningitis and the duration of immunity is unknown. The vaccine may reduce the risk of this potentially fatal disease.  Please visit the HealthyHeels blog for more information http://healthyheels.wordpress.com/ (Isn’t the blog where this info is going?)

MenB vaccine

Adolescents and young adults ages 16 to 23 may receive this vaccine. 

Individuals who are at an increased risk of contracting serogroup B meningococcal disease should receive this vaccine. This includes people who have:

  • Been near an outbreak location of serogroup B meningococcal disease
  • Persistent complement component deficiencies
  • Undergone treatment with eculizuma
  • Anatomic or functional asplenia including sickle cell disease
  • Been routinely exposed to isolates of N. meningitis during laboratory work

MenB vaccine can be administered at the same time as MenACWY vaccine.  The brand of MenB vaccine stocked at Campus Health Services is given as two doses at least one month apart.  

 

Pneumococcal (Pneumonia):  Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, sometimes referred to as pneumococcus. Pneumococcus can cause many types of illnesses, including ear infections, pneumonia and meningitis.  This vaccine comes in two forms for our student population, the PPSV23 and the PCV13.  The PCV13 and the PPSV23 are recommended per CDC for individuals with certain risk factors, including immune compromising conditions.  Please consult with your healthcare provider to evaluate your risk.

 

Varicella (chicken pox):  Varicella is a very common childhood infection.  Varicella vaccination is a series of two doses, one month apart.   A second dose is recommended for individuals who have only received 1 dose in the past, regardless of time lapse after the first dose.  If a student has not had this infection or vaccination, the vaccine should be considered to reduce risk of illness, disruption of routine activities (including missing classes and quarantine to residence hall or home).

 

There are other immunizations that may be recommended in certain situations.  Please call Campus Health Services or contact your health care provider for more information regarding vaccine preventable diseases.