Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. It can lead to meningitis, an infection of the covering of the brain and the spinal cord, and infections of the blood. Meningococcal disease can occur without warning–even among healthy people. It can spread from person to person through close contact (coughing or sneezing) or lengthy contact, especially among people living in the same household. College freshmen living in dormitories are at increased risk of contracting this disease. This could be due in part to close living quarters, decreased immunity from poor nutrition or lack of sleep, or from sharing drinks. There are at least 12 types of Neisseria meningitidis, called “serogroups.” Serogroups A, B, C, W, and Y cause most meningoccal disease.
Meningococcal infections can be treated with antibiotics; however many people still die from this disease. That is why prevention is key through meningococcal vaccine.
Two doses of MCV4 (Meningococcal conjugate vaccine) are routinely recommended for adolescents between the ages of 11-18: the first dose at age 12, with a booster dose at age 16. If the first dose of MCV4 is given between 13 and 15 years of age, the booster should be given between age 16-18. If the first dose of MCV4 is given after the 16th birthday, a booster is not needed. Length of immunity is not completely certain, but it is thought to last up to 5 years. This vaccine covers the serogroups A,C,W,Y which account for nearly 2/3 of all cases of bacterial meningitis.
On-campus housing students under age 21 are required to have Meningoccal vaccination with the last dose given after the student’s 16th birthday.
The vast majority of adolescents/young adults will already have received this vaccine as part of their routine vaccination schedule. However, the vaccine is available at the Student Health Service at a cost of $115.00. Please print off the Meningitis Pre Pay Form and send with payment to the address below. (Students under age 18 will need to have the Meningitis Under 18 Consent completed and mailed as well.)
West Liberty University
Business Office CUB 109
208 University Drive
West Liberty, WV 26074.
Once payment is made students will then be notified of the date/time of their injection appointment.
Two new vaccines (Bexsero, Trumenba) have been developed and both cover serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis (MenB), which is mostly responsible for the remaining 1/3 cases of bacterial meningitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine is recommended for people 10 years or older who are at increased risk for serogroup B meningoccal infections, including: People at risk because of a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak, anyone with a damaged or removed spleen, anyone with a rare immune system condition, anyone taking a drug called Solaris, or microbiologists routinely working with the N. meningitidis bacteria. These vaccines may also be given to anyone 16-23 to provide short term protection against most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease. For best protection, more than 1 dose of a serogroup B vaccine is needed. Please talk with your healthcare provider about the number and timing of doses. For questions or to obtain the MenB vaccine on campus, please contact Student Health Services at 304-336-8049.
Meningitis Related Forms:
- Meningitis Information
- Meningitis ACYW Vaccine Information Sheet
- Meningitis B Vaccine Information Sheet
- Meningitis Under 18 Consent Form
- Meningitis Pre Pay Form