Why Meningitis Vaccination Is So Important For College Students

August 14, 2012

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By now most parents and college students in Texas know that incoming college freshmen under age 30 years have to get the meningitis vaccine before attending class. What you might not know though is why it’s so important to get the vaccine.

It’s important to get the meningococcal meningitis vaccine because the infection can be severely debilitating and even fatal. Teenagers and college students are at an increased risk for meningitis, which is spread through respiratory secretions transmitted from coughing, sneezing, kissing and sharing beverages or cigarettes.

I know parents want to do what’s best for their child and have peace of mind that their student’s college experience will not be interrupted by a potentially life-threatening vaccine-preventable disease. Of course we know that students also don’t want to be robbed of the joy of their college years.

This, however, was not possible for Jamie Schanbaum and Nicolis Williams.

Schanbaum is a University of Texas student who contracted meningitis during her sophomore year and is now a double amputee because of the effects of the disease. Nicolis Williams, on the other hand, died of meningitis in 2011 during his junior year at Texas A&M University.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"71116","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"330","width":"540","style":""}}]]Both of these stories are featured in the above video, “Facing Meningitis,” which my colleagues and I at the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research produced to drive home the importance of college students receiving the meningococcal meningitis vaccine.

It’s my hope that “Facing Meningitis” will convince parents and students that the vaccine is the best choice to prevent potentially life-threatening meningitis.

Please visit collegevaccinerequirements.com for more information about the meningitis vaccine and its availability and cost.

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