University Of Oregon Officials Make Meningitis Vaccination Appeal After Student Death
More than half of the undergraduates at the University of Oregon have not been vaccinated against meningitis, despite the fact that one student has died and five others have been sickened since January.
Public health officials are appealing to parents to get the job done during spring break.
HOW MANY STUDENTS REMAIN UNVACCINATED?
About 13,000 of the university’s 22,000 undergraduates, considered at highest risk for the disease, have yet to be vaccinated.
WHAT’S THE SCHOOL DOING?
Around campus there are posters featuring smiling student athletes showing off the arm where they were vaccinated and sporting a green or gold adhesive bandage with the school logo.
In early March, vaccinations were offered at the university’s basketball arena, and students are now being urged to go to local pharmacies. Emails have been sent to parents. The university has worked with insurance companies to make sure the vaccinations are covered. Vaccines, which cost about $170 each, have been donated for students without insurance.
Students are being offered two different types of new vaccines that target the B strain of meningococcal disease, which can rapidly develop into a blood infection, or meningitis, which infects the lining of the brain or spinal cord. One vaccine offers two shots over a month. The other offers three shots over six months.
Students who have been in close contact with those who came down with the disease are given an antibiotic to kill bacteria that may be currently in their nasal passages.
WHY SO MANY HOLDOUTS?
A university official said the administration is working to overcome young people’s tendency to ignore preventative health care. The meningitis vaccine is not mandatory.
“We expect this is going to take time to continue to have a steady increase in the number of students vaccinated on our campus,” university spokeswoman Julie Brown said.
OUTBREAKS OFTEN AFFECT THE YOUNG
Meningococcal disease is rare, with 1,000 to —> Read More