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Community Settings as a Risk Factor

College StudentsInfectious diseases tend to spread wherever large groups of people gather together. Many states have adopted legislation requiring colleges to provide information on risks of meningococcal disease to incoming students and/or students residing on campus, and some have mandated vaccination for certain students, unless a vaccination waiver is provided.

CDC has the following recommendations regarding the use of quadrivalent (protects against serogroups A, C, W, and Y) meningococcal conjugate vaccines (Menactra® or Menveo®) for college students:

  • First-year college students living in residence halls are recommended to be vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine. If they received this vaccine before their 16th birthday, they should get a booster dose before going to college for maximum protection.
    • Colleges who have requirements for vaccination of matriculating students should consider a vaccine received within 5 years before matriculation as valid.
  • The risk for meningococcal disease among non-first-year college students is similar to that for the general population. However, the vaccine is safe and effective and therefore can be provided to non-first-year college students.

Outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease have been reported from college campuses during the last several years. The quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine does not include protection against serogroup B meningococcal disease. CDC recommends the use of serogroup B meningococcal vaccines (Bexsero® or Trumenba®) for people identified to be at increased risk because of a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak, including outbreaks on college campuses.

Learn more about meningococcal vaccine recommendations.

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