Prompted by the death of Holy Cross College student Jenny Nemeth to bacterial meningitis this past March, Saint Mary's and Notre Dame will Meningitis and Hepatitis B vaccination drives.
The Health and Wellness Services Department at Saint Mary's will administer the vaccinations from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Welsh Parlor of Haggar College Center.
Notre Dame will provide Meningitis and Hepatitis B vaccinations today from 1-7 p.m. at Stepan Center.
The shots are part of the Meningitis and Hepatitis B Immunization Outreach Program, an effort to educate and protect students against these potentially fatal diseases.
Meningitis is a bacterial infection with symptoms that resemble the flu, such as fever, sever headache, nausea, lethargy and vomiting. Symptoms can escalate and result in death within a matter of hours. The most effective way to prevent infection is receiving the vaccination which provides protection against four out of the five strains of the disease.
The vaccinations are sponsored by VACCESSHealth to ensure that the immunizations will be on-hand for all students.
"The cost of the vaccine is high, so we cannot keep a large quantity on hand at all times," said Health and Wellness director Cathi DeCleene. "By partnering with VACCESSHealth, we have access to a substantial supply of the vaccine at a time when the demand is the greatest; the start of the school year."
Although the vaccinations are readily available to students year-round, the Health Services department is offering the coordinated immunization clinic to increase awareness about importance of these shots.
"We are offering the immunization drive essentially because the social habits and close living quarters of college students put them at a higher risk," said Melanie Engler, director of public relations at Saint Mary's. "We want to make these vaccinations a top priority in their minds."
The vaccination fees, $85 for meningitis and $65 for hepatitis B, can be billed to student accounts or to a major credit card.
All News Stories for Monday, September 17, 2001