California College Freshman Now Required to Prove MenB Vaccination
San Diego State University (SDSU) announced that incoming freshman students are now required to present proof of meningococcal B (menB) vaccination within the first 10 days of Fall 2019 classes.
A class registration ‘hold’ will be placed on SDSU freshman unable to prove menB vaccination, SDSU said in a statement on May 30, 2019.
This new vaccination policy is related to 3 confirmed cases of meningococcal serogroup B at SDSU during 2018.
Since the Fall 2018 semester, the university has continued to strongly urge all SDSU undergraduate students 23 years of age or younger, who have not yet been fully vaccinated for serogroup B meningococcal disease, to receive one of the menB vaccines, Bexsero or Trumenba.
Since that 2018 outbreak, nearly 9,000 SDSU students have been vaccinated against meningococcal serogroup B.
SDSU’s decision supersedes the new California State University (CSU) immunization policy by rolling out expanded immunization requirements 1 year earlier and making menB a required vaccine, as opposed to a recommended one.
On March 25, 2019, Executive Order 803 was revised expanding the CSU immunization requirements. In accordance with CSU policy, each campus president has the responsibility for implementing executive orders.
Executive Order 803, says all new, incoming students will be required to receive the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, Hepatitis B (HepB), Varicella, Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis, meningococcal disease (Serogroups A, C, Y, W-135) vaccines, and the Tuberculosis Screening.
“As we became aware of the immunization conversations occurring at the CSU level, it was important for us to make the menB vaccine a required immunization given our ongoing meningococcal serogroup B outbreak, but more importantly, for the overall health and safety of our campus community,” said Andrea Dooley, associate vice president for Student Affairs.
New, incoming SDSU students were made aware of the immunization requirements through university communications which began mid-May 2019 when receiving confirmation of their admission to SDSU.
The new immunization requirements are also posted to SDSU Student Health Services.
Vaccination is the best defense against meningococcal meningitis, yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 50 percent of U.S. teens have not received the recommended 2nd dose of a meningococcal meningitis vaccine.
Meningococcal disease is caused by infection with bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis.
These illnesses are often severe and can be deadly. They include infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, meningitis and bloodstream infections, bacteremia or septicemia.
Meningococcal disease is treated with antibiotics, however quick medical attention is extremely important since 10-15 percent of people may die despite receiving antibiotic treatment.
Keeping up to date with recommended vaccines is the best defense against meningococcal disease.
Most pharmacies in the USA offer vaccination services, including menB vaccines.
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.