Meningitis Shot

meningitis shot

Entering college means a lot of things. First, it means meeting new people, living on your own. Second, it involves a lot of textbook shopping. And third, it means getting a meningitis shot. 

Let me back up a bit.

A lot of colleges ask for their students to get a meningitis shot before moving into a dorm room, which makes sense, considering meningococcal disease is a serious disease. So serious that it can become life-threatening in the blink of an eye. 

College Freshman Need to Get a Meningitis Shot

Every year there are roughly 1,000 to 2,600 people who get meningitis. One-third of those people are teens or young adults. To make matters worse, roughly 10% to 15% of those who get meningococcal disease will die, despite taking antibiotics. It is for these reasons health professionals suggest getting a meningitis shot, as it will help prevent this disease. 

Further, as many as 20% of the people in the U.S. who get meningitis will have permanent, serious side effects. The most common include brain damage and loss of hearing. 

College students in the United States have three options for meningococcal vaccines. Everyone will react to the meningitis shot differently, with the most common side effects being headache and swelling of where the shot was administrated. In the United States, the three vaccines available are as followed: serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, meningococcal conjugate vaccine, and meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine. In simpler terms, College students have the option of taking Trumbenba (serogroup B), Menactra (conjugate vaccine), and Menomune (polysaccharide). 

Perhaps another reason why college students are required to get a meningitis shot is that college freshmen fall within the age range for those at high risk of getting the disease. The CDC recommends a meningitis shot for anyone between the ages of 11 to 18. 

The Meningitis Shot Takeaway

Are you entering College next September? If so, you might want to think about talking to your doctor about getting a meningitis shot. 

Featured Image: DepositPhotos/tethysimaging

Posted on May 5, 2023