After a sixth student in Corvallis contracted Meningococcal disease, Oregon State University established a vaccination requirement for all students under 26. As KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, the deadline is this Thursday.
Meningococcal B is a serious disease. If untreated, it can result in brain damage, limb loss and in about 10% of cases, death. It is spread through close contact. It is preventable, with vaccination.
When OSU officials confirmed the outbreak on campus, they took a defensive tack.
Steve Clark is Vice President of University Relations at Oregon State.
“If you’re not vaccinated and you’re not working with the university to complete that, we’re not going to allow those students to be enrolled.”
Complete immunization against Meningococcal disease requires two or three doses. Clark says 93% of OSU students have received at least one dose. 50% have completed the regimen.
To avoid a registration hold for Spring term, Clark says OSU students must provide proof of vaccination. Mass Vax clinics are providing the shots on campus and staff are available to help with insurance questions.
Three years ago, a Meningococcal B outbreak at the University of Oregon sickened 7 people and killed one Freshman.
“We don’t want that tragedy to occur here,” Clark says.