What is Oregon State University's new vaccine requirement?

Oregon State University requires ALL OSU Corvallis students age 25 and under to be vaccinated against Meningococcal B disease (MenB).  

To comply:

Students must have two doses of Bexsero® or three doses of Trumenba® and provide documentation after each dose.

Why is OSU requiring the MenB vaccine?

OSU is requiring Meningococcal B vaccines for all Corvallis campus students age 25 and under because there have been six cases of OSU Corvallis students being diagnosed with Meningococcal B disease since November 2016. 

Though uncommon, MenB disease is very serious. The disease can kill 10-15 percent of those who develop it. It can leave 20 percent with a permanent disability, such as loss of hearing or sight, loss of a limb, or permanent deficit in mental function. 

While many OSU students already have been immunized, in consultation with OSU, state and local health authorities determined stronger measures were necessary to ensure students are vaccinated.  

Why does OSU require both the meningococcal MCV4 vaccine and the MenB vaccine?

The MCV4 vaccine protects against serogroups A, C, W and Y of meningococcal disease. It does not protect against meningococcal B disease. Alternately, MenB vaccine does not protect against serogroups A, C, Y, and W.

The best way to protect yourself against meningococcal disease is to receive both the meningococcal B (MenB) vaccine and the quadrivalent (MCV4) meningococcal vaccine.

The MenB vaccine requires either two or three doses, depending on the brand used. The quadrivalent MCV4 meningococcal vaccine requires just one dose.

What happens if I do not comply with the MenB requirement?

If you do not comply with this requirement, you will have an academic hold.

Is this requirement in compliance with state law?

Yes. Oregon State University has authority under state law to adopt certain immunization requirements. OSU’s MenB vaccination requirement complies with state law as both medical and non-medical exemptions are available and the requirement is informed by the current recommendations authored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Do OSU faculty and staff need to be vaccinated against MenB?  

Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Benton County and Oregon Health Authority public health officials say that students 25 years of age and under, particularly those who live in congregate housing, or are members of campus fraternal organizations or athletic teams, are most at risk of contracting MenB disease. During previous outbreaks of meningococcal disease at other universities nationally, employees have not been found to be at generally increased risk, due possibly to their limited exposure to students. Employees may want to consult their medical providers regarding the risk of MenB and to determine if vaccination is advisable.

Note: on-campus vaccination clinics are only available for registered students.

I have extenuating circumstances. How can I get an exemption? 

In compliance with state law, both medical and non-medical exemptions are available to OSU’s MenB immunization requirement.

I believe I have a medical condition that should exempt me from the MenB vaccine. What should I do?

  • To be considered for medical exemptions from OSU’s MenB vaccination requirement, students must submit documentation from a medical provider establishing the basis for a requested exemption. Students can obtain documentation from their medical provider. OSU Student Health Services staff will be available to provide medical exemption consultations via an appointment. Learn more.

I believe I am eligible for a non-medical exemption. What should I do?

  • Non-medical exemptions may be granted to those students with beliefs, practices or ethical values which prohibit immunizations. To be approved, non-medical exemptions will require an in-person consultation and signature from a medical provider, who will review the risks of avoiding vaccine with students.
  • Student Health Services is no longer providing non-medical exemptions for MenB vaccines. You must see an outside (non-SHS) healthcare provider to complete the non-medical exemption form for the MenB vaccine. Please return the form to SHS promptly.
I have a question not included in this FAQ list. Who do I call?

Call Student Health Services at 541-737-7570 with questions about:

  • The timing of vaccinations, dose requirements, or for general medical information.
  • Where to receive vaccinations.
  • Risks of MenB disease.
  • Disease transmission.

Call your insurance carrier if you have questions about insurance benefits or coverage.

Call the Office of Student Life at 541-737-8748 if you have concerns about the policy or questions about academic holds. 

I am a new student. Do I need to be fully immunized before arriving on campus?

Ideally, you will begin your vaccinations at home with your in-network healthcare provider and arrive on the Corvallis campus fully immunized against MenB. If you do not finish the series before arriving at OSU, you can finish either series at Student Health Services, the OSU Pharmacy, or with a local urgent care or pharmacy.

New students for spring 2018 have until April 9 to receive the first dose of Bexsero® or Trumenba® and until May 14 to receive the second dose. Holds will be placed on May 15, 2018, if the requirement is not met.

Where can I receive the MenB vaccine?

After contacting your healthcare insurance provider:

  • Come to OSU Student Health Services in the Plageman Building and check in at room 118 to be directed to the SHS clinic or pharmacy, or
  • Go to an urgent care clinic, medical clinic, or pharmacy that is in-network with your insurance provider

A list of Samaritan Health Services clinics that provide walk-in MenB vaccines:

  • Samaritan Athletic Medicine
    845 SW 30th St., Corvallis
    Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Urgent Care/Samaritan Family Medicine Southwest
    5234 SW Philomath Boulevard, Corvallis
    Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Samaritan Pediatrics (for students 18 years and younger)
    777 NW Ninth St., Corvallis
    Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Samaritan Internal Medicine
    3521 NW Samaritan Drive, Suite 201, Corvallis
    Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic
    3517 NW Samaritan Drive, Suite 201, Corvallis
    Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Samaritan Pharmacy – Corvallis
    3521 NW Samaritan Drive, Suite 202, Corvallis
    Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Saturday - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Is the MenB vaccine covered by insurance? 
  • Contact your insurance company to see whether your immunization is considered a medical benefit (must be given at a medical clinic) or a pharmacy benefit (must be given at a pharmacy). Knowing this information beforehand will save you money. 
  • Tell your insurer that you are seeking the vaccination due to a MenB outbreak on the OSU Corvallis campus. The outbreak situation may require your insurance company to cover the full cost of the vaccine.
  • Ask your insurer which clinics or pharmacies are considered “in-network” so that you obtain the best coverage. This will save you money.
  • See our guide to contacting your insurance company about MenB benefits.

NOTE: The Oregon Legislature now requires Oregon-based private insurance plans to cover MenB vaccinations. If you have problems obtaining coverage through your Oregon insurer, contact the state of Oregon's Office of Patient Advocates at 1-888-877-4894 or email cp.ins@oregon.gov

Who will pay for my receiving the MenB vaccine?

The vaccine must be paid for by you or your insurance provider. If you are uninsured or concerned about your ability to pay, come to the MenB vaccination clinics on campus where people will help you with additional resources.

What if I do not have insurance?

If you are uninsured or concerned about your ability to pay, come to Student Health Services where people will help you with additional resources.

How do I enroll in the Oregon Health Plan (OHP)? 

Students who are Oregon residents and meet eligibility criteria may be able to enroll in the Oregon Health Plan (OHP).

For questions about OHP enrollment, please call the Health Navigators at Benton County Health Department at 541-766-2130.

How do I prove that I already have received the required MenB vaccinations?

If you receive your vaccination at any of the following locations, you do NOT need to submit additional documentation: 

  • Student Health Services
  • OSU Pharmacy 
  • OSU MenB vaccination clinics at the Memorial Union

If you received your MenB vaccination(s) at a different location you must provide written documentation—such as a pharmacy receipt, a vaccination record from your healthcare provider, or other documentation—to the university. Your name and student ID number must be included with documentation so the information is recorded correctly. 

Where should I submit documentation?

Submit your MenB vaccination documentation in any of the following ways:

  • Complete the online MenB Documentation Form.
  • Place your documentation in the MenB drop boxes located in the Plageman Building (108 S.W. Memorial Place) on the 1st floor, near the Immunization Office, or on the 2nd floor in the main lobby.
  • Mail documents to: OSU Immunization Office, 201 Plageman Building, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331

Submit your MenB medical or non-medical exemption documentation by:

  • Online MenB Documentation Form.
  • Placing it in the MenB drop boxes located in the Plageman Building (108 S.W. Memorial Place) on the 1st floor, near the Immunization Office, or on the 2nd floor in the main lobby.
  • Mail to: OSU Immunization Office, 201 Plageman Building, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331

Submit your MenB academic deferral documentation by:

  • Email (from the student account)to: registrars@oregonstate.edu
  • Fax to: 541-737-8123
  • US mail to: Office of the Registrar, Oregon State University, B102 Kerr Admin. Bldg., Corvallis, Oregon 97331
  • Dropping it off in room B102, Kerr
I am not aware if I have received a MenB vaccine, or if I finished the vaccine series. How do I find out?       

Check the patient portal.

Please be advised that with increased volume of vaccination records being processed this week, your MenB vaccine history may not be updated online for several days. Try again in a few days if you had the vaccine but do not see record of it listed. Instructions for accessing your immunization record via bewell.oregonstate.edu can be found in our patient portal guide (PDF).

If you are a resident of Oregon or if you have received any vaccines in Oregon:

Call 541-737-7570. Student Health Services staff will check the Oregon Alert Immunization Registry on your behalf.

If you received vaccines in a state other than Oregon:

If you received vaccines at your primary care clinic:

Call your primary care provider directly to request that your immunization record be sent to OSU's confidential Student Health Services fax line (541-306-6670).

Where can I receive my next/follow-up dose(s) of MenB vaccine?

If it has been more than 28 days since your most recent dose of vaccine, you may receive the required follow-up dose from:

  • Your primary care provider or clinic in your insurance network.
  • Student Health Services
  • The OSU pharmacy

You are advised to call ahead to ensure the vaccine is available. Most providers can obtain the vaccine in a day or two.

I have OSU Aetna student health insurance. May I come to Student Health Services to receive the MenB vaccine?

If you have health insurance through OSU’s sponsored plan, carried by Aetna, you may receive your vaccine at Student Health Services. Check in at the Plageman Building, room 118.

I have OSU PacificSource student health insurance. May I come to Student Health Services to receive the MenB vaccine?

If you have health insurance through OSU’s sponsored plan, carried by PacificSource, you may receive your vaccine at Student Health Services. Check in at the Plageman Building, room 118.

How is MenB transmitted?

MenB is transmitted through exposure to the saliva of an infected individual through behavior such as sharing drinking glasses, makeup, utensils, or smoking devices and by intimate contact such as kissing. 

It can be shared through prolonged, close contact with someone who is infected, such as spending several hours together in a car or dorm room together. 

Most people infected with MenB do not become ill but they can still infect others. These people are called asymptomatic carriers. There may be hundreds of these healthy carriers on campus. People can carry the bacteria in their throat for several weeks and eventually eliminate it through their immune system. Even though these people are not ill, they are the main source for spreading the infection to others. There is no way to know if you are a healthy carrier. Neither vaccines nor antibiotics eliminate the carrier state.
 
Being immunized is the best way to prevent yourself from getting Meningococcal B disease.

How can I avoid getting MenB?   

To avoid being infected:

  • Avoid sharing secretions with others.
  • Get fully immunized as fast as possible. The quickest way to be fully immunized is to get two doses of Bexsero® one month apart. 
  • While Trumenba® is equally effective, full immunization with the Trumenba® vaccine takes six months. OSU will accept immunization with either vaccine. If Trumenba® is used, however, you must receive all three required doses. Two of those doses must be received by February 15, 2018.)
If I get sick, how do I know if I have Meningococcal B disease?

Individuals with MenB disease typically develop a high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, and body aches. They may experience vomiting, a rash, and extreme fatigue. These symptoms usually progress very quickly over 24 hours. Anyone with these symptoms should go to a healthcare provider immediately.

Where should I go if I become ill?

If you have severe symptoms:

  • Immediately go directly to a hospital emergency department, preferably by ambulance by calling 911.

If you have less severe symptoms:

  • Come to Student Health Services Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or
  • Go to your primary care provider or a walk-in clinic, such as:
Why is my primary care provider giving me a different recommendation regarding the vaccines?

Your primary care provider or a clinician might be following standard MenB disease recommendations. The recommendations are different in situations where a Meningococcal B disease outbreak has been declared, such as it has been on the OSU Corvallis campus. 

The biggest discrepancy in advice is likely to be as it regards the Trumenba® vaccine series. The standard recommendation is for patients to receive two shots of Trumenba® given six months apart. In the case of a MenB disease outbreak, a two-dose protocol does not provide sufficient immunity soon enough. 

For this reason, OSU requires three shots of Trumenba®. Two of those shots must be received before February 15, 2018. Note that only two doses of the vaccine Bexsero®—received at least 28 days apart—are required in either scenario.

What if I am late receiving my follow-up dose(s) of Bexsero® or Trumenba®? 

Both vaccines are still effective in producing immunity, even when doses are given later than the recommended interval. Do not restart the vaccine series. Just complete receiving your remaining dose(s). This is true even if you are several weeks or months late for your second Bexsero® or Trumenba® dose, or even the third Trumenba® dose.

Can I get my second dose early in order to get my hold lifted?

NO. If doses are received too soon, you will not be adequately immunized.