Risk of Meningitis Upped for College Freshman
Not all student health services are universally equipped to take care of the demand for the vaccine. Availability varies across the country, and Rock feels that this is something that needs to be addressed. "We're informing parents and students in orientations and mailings from the universities about the vaccine, but maybe we haven't gone the next step and let them know where to get it," he says.
The American College Health Association, whose membership includes more than 900 schools, has agreed to adopt the ACIP guidelines, and offer their suggestions as to who may benefit most from the meningitis vaccine:
- Entering college students, particularly those living in dormitories or resident halls, who wish to decrease their risk factors,
- Undergraduate students 25 years of age or under who want to lower their risk of contracting meningitis, and who are not pregnant,
- Students who have medical conditions, such as HIV, that weaken their immune systems, and
- Students traveling to areas of the world with widespread meningitis.