All freshmen and incoming transfer students, living in university residence halls/housing for the first time, must complete the Meningitis Compliance form. Filling out the survey or paper form one time is sufficient for your educational career at Shippensburg University.
If you have questions or concerns, please call (717) 477-1458.
June 28, 2002, Pennsylvania
passed legislation (Senate Bill 955) requiring all students living in
university residence halls/housing, to either have the vaccine or sign a
declination statement after having received information concerning the benefits
of receiving the meningitis vaccine.
students are at increased risk for meningococcal disease, a potentially fatal
bacterial infection commonly referred to as meningitis. In fact, freshmen living in residence halls
are found to have a six-fold increased risk for the disease. The American College Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and The Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization
Practices recommends that college students, particularly freshmen living in
residence halls, learn more about meningitis and vaccination. At least 70% of all cases of meningococcal
disease in college students are vaccine preventable.
Many states have
recently passed legislation mandating the meningitis vaccine for freshmen
living in residence halls. Pennsylvania has
legislation (Senate Bill 995) stating all incoming freshmen either have the
vaccine or sign a declination statement after having received information concerning
the benefits of receiving the meningitis vaccine.
is meningococcal meningitis? Meningitis is rare. But when it strikes, this potentially fatal
bacterial disease can lead to swelling of tissue surrounding the brain and
spinal column as well as severe and permanent disabilities, such as hearing
loss, brain damage, seizures, limb amputation and even death.
is it spread? Meningococcal meningitis is spread through
the air via respiratory secretions or close contact with an infected person. This can include coughing, sneezing, kissing
or sharing items like utensils, cigarettes and drinking glasses.
are the symptoms? Symptoms of meningococcal meningitis often
resemble the flu and can include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, rash,
nausea, vomiting, lethargy and confusion.
is at risk? Certain college students, particularly
freshmen who live in residence halls, have been found to have an increased risk
for meningococcal meningitis. Other
undergraduates should also consider vaccination to reduce their risk of the
meningitis be prevented? Yes. A
safe and effective vaccine is available to protect against four of the five
most common strains of the disease. The
vaccine provides protection for approximately three to five years. Adverse reactions to the meningitis vaccine
are mild and infrequent, consisting primarily of redness and pain at the
injection site and rarely a fever.
Serious reactions such as anaphylaxis and death are exceedingly rare
from this type of vaccine. Those
allergic to Thimerosal (a preservative) or latex (from the stopper) should not
receive this vaccine. As with any
vaccine, vaccination against meningitis may not protect 100 percent of all
susceptible individuals. It does not
protect against viral meningitis.
To learn more about meningitis please visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/index.html.