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 are under 18, you must print the paper Meningitis form and return it with your parents signature.
- If you are over 18, complete the Mandatory Meningitis survey.
If you have questions or concerns, please call (717) 477-1701.
On 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.
College 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.
- What 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.
- How 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.
- What 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.
- Who 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 disease.
- Can 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.