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Vaccine for Meningococcal Disease Type B Available at Student Health

(Posted 2-24-15) Oregon State University’s Student Health Services has the new Type B vaccine, which covers a strain of meningococcal disease not included in the standard 4-strain vaccine that many students received as adolescents. While there are no current cases of meningococcal disease at OSU or in Benton County, the best defense is getting vaccinated. Both the standard and Type B vaccines are recommended for maximum protection, especially for those up to age 25 who live in residence halls, fraternities, and sororities.

Meningococcal disease is a serious, potentially fatal infection that most often causes severe swelling of the tissue around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or a serious blood infection (meningococcemia). Meningococcal meningitis is when the brain and spinal cord swelling is caused by the Neisseria menigitidis bacteria. Of these bacteria, Type B causes approximately 50 percent of the cases in Oregon and is suspected to be the cause of the current outbreak at University of Oregon.

The Type B vaccination is a two-dose series, one month apart, and costs $145 per dose. Students should check with their insurance company to see if the cost will be covered. The charges can also be billed to students’ accounts.

OSU Student Health is NOT planning a mass vaccination clinic (like what is scheduled at UO). Please call the SHS Advice Nurse at 541-737-2724 if you have questions about vaccine availability. More information can be found at studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/infectious-diseases/meningococcal-disease.