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Meningococcal Vaccine

In June 2002, the State of SC passed the following vaccination recommendation & education law:

AS TO REQUIRE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING TO NOTIFY INCOMING STUDENTS, OR THEIR PARENTS, OF THE RISK OF CONTRACTING MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE IF LIVING IN ON CAMPUS STUDENT HOUSING AND TO REQUIRE THESE INSTITUTIONS TO RECOMMEND VACCINATION AGAINST THIS DISEASE IN THE INSTITUTION'S HEALTH AND MEDICAL INFORMATION PROVIDED TO STUDENTS AND PARENTS.

Meningococcal meningitis is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection. The disease causes inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The disease is transmitted through the air via droplets of respiratory secretions and by direct contact with persons infected with the disease. Oral contact with shared items such as cigarettes and drinking glasses or through intimate contact such as kissing could put a person at risk for acquiring the infection.

The American College Health Association (ACHA) estimates that 100-125 cases of meningococcal disease occur annually on college campuses (mostly among freshmen living in dorms), and 5 to 15 students will die as a result. Fortunately we have never had a case of meningococcal meningitis at The Citadel.

Meningococcal vaccine will protect against four of five common forms of Nisseria Meningitis, however no vaccine is guaranteed to protect 100% of individuals. Minimal side effects of the vaccine may include mild pain and redness at the injections site. Occasional individuals may have reactions such as headache, fever and chills.

You may want to contact your physician for the vaccine prior to arrival on campus. The decision to be vaccinated is yours; this information is provided so that you can make an informed decision. The vaccine is also available at the Infirmary, if you elect to receive it after arrival, at a cost of a little over $100. The charge will be posted to the cadet’s Quartermaster Account. More detailed information is available at the Infirmary.