Meningococcal, MMR and Tdap vaccine at ASC freshman orientation

(08-12-2010)

Alamosa County Public Health will be offering free meningococcal, MMR and Tdap vaccine to new and returning Adams State College students during Adams State freshman orientation on Thursday, Aug. 19. Public Health Nurses will immunize students from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Student Union Building room 309. Those under age 18 must have parental or guardian consent to receive vaccines.

Meningococcal bacteria are fairly common, found in the throats of 5-15% of the population. The bacteria are spread from person to person through contact with oral or nasal secretions and by coughing or sneezing. It is uncommon for these bacteria to cause disease, but when they do, life-threatening illness can occur and can lead to rapid death. Meningococcal infection usually appears in two typical forms: as meningitis, which is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord; or as sepsis, which is an infection of the blood. Serious life-long complications can result from this infection.

Close contact with others, such as living in a dormitory, going to camp, and participating in sports places adolescents and young adults at higher risk for exposure to meningococcal bacteria. Adams State officials and Public Health strongly recommend meningococcal vaccine for all college students.

Documentation of two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine is required for college students in Colorado. These three viral illnesses are very serious and vaccination is very effective in preventing them. MMR vaccine is part of the childhood immunization schedule; however, some college students may not have received both doses.

Tdap immunizes against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis. Vaccines for these three diseases are also part of the childhood immunization schedule, so some college students may not yet need a booster. Public Health nurses will review this recommendation with each student presenting for vaccine at orientation. Pertussis infection has increased throughout the US during 2010, particularly in California, so this is an important vaccine to consider.

Funding and vaccine for this immunization clinic have been secured through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant awarded to Alamosa County Public Health Department. These funds are intended to reduce vaccine-preventable disease incidence.

For more information, please contact Alamosa County Public Health at 719-589-6639 or Adams State Office of Student Affairs at 719-587-7221.

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