Temple Health Services is offering a service to make it more convenient for all students to receive a vaccination to prevent a potentially fatal disease.
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, students were able to receive a vaccination to prevent Meningococcal Meningitis at Johnson and Hardwick Halls.
Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial infection that effects the brain and spinal cord. It is potentially fatal and can cause serious damages such as seizures and brain damage.
Although Temple has never had a reported case of meningitis, college campuses are high-risk areas to contract the disease. There are approximately 100 to 125 cases of the disease annually on college campuses. Five to 15 students die every year from the disease.
“We want to increase the awareness and knowledge that the students have about the potential risks if they were to get this disease and to make aware the availability of a vaccine which has an excellent rate of success and,” said director of Student Health Services Ilene Moore.
Health Services chose to give the vaccination at this time of year because it needs to take effect before the disease peaks in late winter.
The vaccine that was used is Meningococcal Polysaccharide. This vaccine is considered very effective and has an 85 to 100 percent success rate in adults. The vaccine kills four out of five strains of Meningococcal Meningitis. These 4 strains account for 70 percent of all cases of meningitis.
Many people decide not to get the vaccine because of its price. The shot costs $75. To a student this may seem expensive, but Student Health Services is charging nothing over the the manufacturers’ price.
There are some minor side effects of the vaccine. These side effects can include redness and tenderness. The most severe side effect is headache; 6 percent of adults get headaches after receiving the shot.
Protection from meningitis lasts for two to five years, and adults should consider a revaccination after 2 years.
Meningitis is contracted through oral secretions. People between the ages of 15 and 24 are more susceptible to get the illness. Living in dorms, drinking from other people’s cups, kissing and sharing cigarettes put students at greater risk, Moore said.
The highest attack rate of the disease is among children 6 to 36 months old, but the risks appear to be shifting toward older children and adolescents.
There is a rising number of outbreaks in schools, universities and other organization-based settings, according to the American College Health Association.
The symptoms of meningitis are flu-like. These symptoms include fever, severe headache, stiff neck, rash, nausea, and fatigue.
Student Health Services is stocking up on the vaccine and are making it easily available for students to receive it.
“Although we are doing a one day outreach at Temple, we want students to be aware that they can still get the vaccine by appointment at student services,” Moore said.
**Students who were unable to attend the last session can call the Health Services department on Main Campus at (215) 204-7500 and schedule an appointment to receive the shot.Cash, check or credit card are accepted to pay for the vaccine. *