CORVALLIS, Ore. - The second mass vaccination clinic for type B meningococcal disease - to provide a second dose for most attendees and the first dose for some people - will be held April 17-18 at Oregon State University.
More than 1,800 students received their first dose at the mass clinics held on March 8-9, following three confirmed cases of meningococcal B disease afflicting OSU students in Corvallis. University officials are hoping all of those students who have been vaccinated will return for follow-up doses. Some will receive the necessary second dose of the two-part Bexsero vaccine, and others the next dose of the three-part Trumenba vaccine.
One dose of either vaccine is not enough to protect fully against the disease, and students should continue with the brand they started.
In addition, health experts emphasize that it is not too late to begin the vaccine series. Students can receive a first dose at this clinic and then complete the series at Student Health Services or their home provider.
The clinics will be held Monday and Tuesday, April 17-18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union ballroom on the OSU campus. Students should bring their student identification, insurance information, and any information about previous meningococcal B vaccines. Students who participated in the first OSU clinics should be in the system, but can call Student Health Services if they have any questions.
Students who participated in the first clinics will be reminded of the need for the second dose via text messages.
So far the clinics have been a success, university officials say, adding to about 650 other vaccinations that had already been administered by OSU Student Health Services since last fall, and many more by local pharmacies and private physicians.
"We've done well so far, but are still working to encourage vaccinations for the entire target group of 7,000 students considered at highest risk for this disease," said Steve Clark, OSU vice president for university relations and marketing.
"We anticipate a very strong follow-up from the group of students who received their first dose at university clinics in March, and this is also a great time for other students to begin the process if they still haven't received the initial dose."
The mass vaccinations were necessary due to three cases of type B meningococcal disease involving OSU students since last fall. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, those at highest risk include students age 25 and younger, who live in on-campus housing or are members of - or visit - fraternal living groups associated with the university.
Students can also receive the vaccines at the Student Health Center, Clark said, or through their own medical providers.
Health officials continue to recommend that all students be aware of the symptoms of this potentially fatal infection, which can include high fever, stiff neck, rash, headaches, exhaustion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Anyone who exhibits these symptoms should immediately visit Student Health Services in Plageman Hall on campus, at 108 S.W. Memorial Place, or call 541-737-9355. Student Health Services is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. After hours, students should immediately go to a nearby urgent care medical clinic or hospital emergency room.
Meningococcal disease is very serious but not highly contagious. It is transmitted through direct contact with droplets from coughing or sneezing; other discharges from the nose or throat; by sharing of eating and drinking utensils, smoking devices; or through intimate personal contact.
The OSU vaccination clinics are a joint effort of OSU, Benton County Health Department and the Oregon Health Authority.
No student will be denied the vaccine due to insurance coverage, including students without insurance. Resources are available for students who do not have insurance, and OSU is continuing to work with health partners to ensure that cost of the vaccine is not a barrier.
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