CSU is considering the implementation of meningitis vaccine requirement for all students – The Daily Aztec

by Shauny Silas, Staff Writer

After an outbreak of campus meningitis earlier in the semester, San Diego State is considering to require all students to receive the vaccine against Meningitis-B by the fall of 2019.

Three reported cases of meningococcal meningitis since June 2018 prompted the Department of Health and Human Services in San Diego to report an outbreak in September. There were three reported cases during the school year 2017-18 and a student died in 2014 of the disease.

Nevertheless, the meningitis B vaccine is currently not required by the system-wide policy of California State University. The spokesman for the university, Cory Marshall, said that discussions are currently under way on changing this policy, although they are only provisional.

"After ongoing discussions with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, and as part of our collaboration with HHSA, San Diego State University is at first discussions within the university about the possibility of adding the meningococcal B vaccine to the set of required vaccinations for incoming students, "said the e-mail.

Since the outbreak, the university has encouraged all undergraduates younger than 23 to receive the vaccine if they have not already. In an e-mail dated November 21 to members of the SDSU community, Cynthia Cornelius, medical director for student health, told students that they would be encouraged to be vaccinated, to enter their immunization records if they had already been vaccinated or sign a declination form indicating that they understand the risks of meningitis, but still have no intentions to be vaccinated.

Marshall said many students have already received the Menveo or Menactra vaccination as teenagers who protect against meningococcal diseases A, C, W and Y.

The university has engaged in numerous efforts on campus to increase the number of vaccinated students. Two clinics were held in October in Viejas arena for students to get the first vaccine in the series of two that are needed. However, approximately 350 of the administered vaccines were later found to be defective due to a Walgreens temperature problem.

Grower, film and new media first-year Cassidy Stahl said she believes that the meningitis B vaccine should be needed for all incoming students, especially after the problems she went through this semester after they had to take the preventive pill when the outbreak for the first was declared.

"It was so & # 39; n pain," Stahl said. "I waited at least one hour for the preventive pill and then had to go to the Viejas arena to get the first vaccine, and I get my second home doctor's second when I go home, so it will be easier."

Senior Jessica Michael, social worker, said she has not received the vaccine against meningitis B and has no plans to get one in the future.

"I do not know if it should be mandatory, it should be your choice if you want to receive the vaccine," said Michael. "I absolutely believe that the university should concentrate on the education and awareness of the disease for incoming students."

Student Health Services offers free after-hours clinics to students from 4.30 pm. until 6 pm, from Monday to Thursday until November 29. Students can also make an appointment during the regular hours to receive the vaccination.

Meningococcal disease is spread through contact such as kissing, sharing cups, coughing and prolonged contact, such as living in close circles. Symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting and confusion.

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