College Students

Most colleges and universities require all incoming students
to receive or show proof of having had
the following vaccinations:


Even though college freshmen living in dormitories are five times more likely to get meningitis, most states recommend protection for all college freshmen. Because this is such a serious threat, we want you to be fully informed about this deadly disease. Meningitis symptoms present the same as influenza symptoms, therefore they are often dismissed and medical care is delayed, with death possible in as little as 8 hours! 

**Although college freshmen are given the opportunity to sign a waiver to keep from taking the Meningitis vaccine and/or the Hepatitis B vaccine, it is VERY IMPORTANT that they understand the risks they are taking by refusing the vaccine.  When you weigh the risks versus the discomfort or expense involved in taking these important vaccines, it is evident what the choice should be! Losing your limbs or even your life is not a reasonable risk you should take, especially when these vaccines are readily available and proven to be lifesaving.


Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease that is also spread by tattooing, body piercing and sharing drug paraphernalia.  Hepatitis B is 100 times more infectious than HIV/AIDS.  In the U.S., more than 1 million Americans are chronically infected with Hepatitis B, and 5,000 people die each year from its serious consequences, which include cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis B vaccine protects nearly all who are in contact with blood, body fluids or used needles. Most people who were in junior high or middle school in 2005 should have received three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine by high school graduation.


If you do not have a blood test to show immunity, you should be vaccinated now.  Persons born after 1956 should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine unless you have had EACH one of these diseases.  Many schools require two doses of the vaccine or a blood titre that shows you have had the diseases.


Everyone needs a booster every ten years whether you have injured yourself or not!  Tetanus lives the dirt, on rusty equipment, garden mulch and in your pets' intestinal tracts. If you have not yet received a dose of Tetanus vaccine that included Pertussis protection, you should receive one now, even if it has only been a couple of years since your last dose. After the initial dose of TdaP vaccine, everyone should receive a booster dose of Tetanus/Diphtheria vaccine every 10 years. An exception is that women should receive a TdaP vaccine during every pregnancy. 


Varicella is a highly infectious disease that can be rapidly transmitted in schools and dormitories.  If you have not had chickenpox, you should get the vaccine right away.  Two doses are now recommended for lifetime protection.


You need a flu vaccination EVERY YEAR!  Living in dormitories and attending large classes with other students makes it more likely you will be exposed to the flu!  Meningitis feels like the flu when it first starts, so get a flu vaccination so you can tell the difference!  And remember, you CANNOT get the flu from the flu vaccine!

This information was compiled from information published by Medimmune, Inc., the CDC,
the ACIP and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.