Spring Semester Update on Meningococcal Disease Vaccinations

 

Dear Campus Community,

Thank you to all the students who have received vaccinations so far during the clinics we have offered on campus. More than 9,600 doses of the meningitis B vaccine have been administered on campus.

It is important to note that meningococcal disease does not take a holiday. At other universities, outbreaks of the disease have occurred over several months. To continue our efforts to prevent the spread of meningococcal disease, we have scheduled additional walk-in mini clinics throughout the spring semester. I strongly encourage you to either get your second shot of meningitis B vaccine or start the two-shot series at one of these clinics.

The clinics are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 21, 3-6 p.m., University Health Services Room 302
  • Tuesday, March 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall East
  • Tuesday, March 20, 3-6 p.m., University Health Services Room 302
  • Wednesday, April 4, 11 a.m. -3 p.m., Campus Center Room 168
  • Wednesday, April 25, 3-6 p.m., University Health Services Room 302

Regularly updated information about meningococcal disease at UMass can be found at www.umass.edu/meningitis. If you have additional questions or concerns, you may contact the UHS triage nurse at 413-577-5229. If these clinics do not fit into your schedule, you can call UHS at 413-577-5101 to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine.

As you know, we had two cases of meningococcal disease on campus during the fall semester, and we conducted several large- and small-scale vaccination clinics. Vaccination for our undergraduates and those who live in undergraduate housing is the best action we can take to protect you against this rare, but serious, disease.

We are primarily using a two-shot meningococcal B vaccine called Bexsero. The other Men-B vaccine, Trumenba, is also available for those who have started that three-shot series. We want to stress the importance of completing the series in order to receive the fullest protection possible. If you have yet to start the vaccination series, we encourage you to come to one of these clinics to get started.

Again, these clinics are walk-in and no appointment is necessary. Please remember to bring your insurance card and any documentation of vaccination received at home when you come.

Finally, remember these health smart tips to prevent the spread of disease as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Do not share anything that comes in contact with the mouth – water bottles, face masks, towels, drinking glasses or cups, eating utensils, cosmetics, lip balm, toothbrushes, smoking materials, kisses, or drinks from a common source.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve.

Thank you in advance for your full participation and cooperation. We appreciate you taking the steps required to keep our campus a safe and healthy place.

 Sincerely,

George A. Corey, M.D.
Executive Director
University Health Services