Major Concerns Surround Meningitis Vaccine for College Students
September 21, 2006
Many incoming college students must take the meningococcal vaccine or risk not being admitted to their school.
But 41 percent of the vaccine's recipients report headaches, 35 percent report fatigue, and 20 percent report aches and pains in their joints.
Five recipients of the vaccine have developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a condition similar to multiple sclerosis.
In addition, the vaccine does not protect against one-third of the strains of the disease, and does not guarantee immunity against any strains.
Less than 1 in 100,000 people contract the meningococcal meningitis disease annually in the U.S. Half of those who do contract it are infants, and most people who contract it fully recover. The disease is not easily transmitted. and many have already been exposed to it, rendering them immune. Only 5-15 college students nationwide die from this disease each year.