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Princeton University vaccinates students to prevent more meningitis outbreaks

By Funke Oyelade,

After a meningitis outbreak of a rare strain of the Meningococcal disease, Princeton University has vaccinated 5,268 students that live on its campus.

The vaccine, Bexsero, was given during campus clinics and requires two doses to effectively protect the students from meningitis. The first dose was administered between Dec. 9-12 and the second dose will be offered in February, according to Princeton.

In March, eight Prince University students contracted the bacteria. In May NJ.com reported that the state health department officially declared a meningitis outbreak at the university after the fourth case.

The university makes it mandatory for anyone living on its campus to have a meningitis vaccine, but the vaccine does help against the B strain. According to CBS News the B strain responds differently to vaccines for the other strain and this is the first outbreak in the states. However, the B strain is common in Europe.

Princeton has been doing everything possible to prevent further infections by offering the first dose of the vaccine to those eligible on campus. More than 91 percent of those eligible got the first dose, much to the pleasure of the Vice President of Campus Life, Cynthia Cherrey, “We are delighted that so many of our students followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation to receive the first dose of the vaccine," she said.

Central Jersey reported that 4,361 people had already received the vaccine Dec. 12.

The vaccine, although is used in Europe, Australia, and recently, Canada, the United States have yet to approve it. The FDA did allow the vaccine to be brought into the states for Princeton University. None of the people that contracted the strain died and Princeton is covering the cost of the vaccine.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 
 

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