For most, doctor visits are something that people don’t look forward to. Whether it is for a strep test or just a regular check-up, the thought makes us shudder. As a infant, most of us received vaccinations preventing hazardous diseases from taking over our immune system. While some schools do not require a meningitis vaccination, most of them do which is why anyone who is not vaccinated, should be.

 

While most of our parents allowed us to be vaccinated, some do not due to either religious or personal beliefs. In Connecticut, there is no current requirement for students to have received the meningitis vaccine(s) throughout elementary school and up until high school. On the other hand, colleges in Connecticut require students to be vaccinated. As stated in section 10a-155b in the College Immunization requirements from the Department of Public Health, “Each public or private college or university in this state shall require that each student who resides in on-campus housing be vaccinated against meningitis and submit evidence of having received a meningococcal conjugate vaccine.”

 

This law does not only apply in Connecticut, which is helpful for students exploring post-secondary education across the country; a very similar law is on record for Texas private and public schools. The Higher Education Coordinating Board stated that as of January 2012, “all entering students were required to show evidence of an initial bacterial meningitis vaccine or a booster dose during the five-year period preceding, and at least 10 days prior, to the first day of the first semester in which the student initially enrolls at a Texas higher education institution.” While these regulations may not seem to apply to underclassmen in high schools, if they are not vaccinated then it strongly narrows down where these students can apply to when the time comes.

 

Most states in the United States require students to have the meningitis vaccine and a booster as well but a very select few don’t. The University of Maine website clearly states that, “The University of Maine strongly recommends students receive immunization against Meningitis, but it is not required.”

 

 

 

Multiple studies have shown that freshmen entering college are at an increased risk of contracting the disease, especially those who are living on campus. It is proven that there is typically one meningitis outbreak on campus each year, but the vaccine could prevent that. In the table shown, it describes the increased chance of students getting the disease.

 

 

 

For seniors and juniors in high school, college is right around the corner. Without having the meningitis vaccination, finding a college where it is not required is difficult. There are a few cases where an exemption from the vaccination is allowed but even so it is still highly recommended. Students and even adults should receive the vaccination, not just because it broadens the spectrum of available colleges, but because it is safer for the individual and the population.

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