Meningitis Vaccine

Meningococcal Meningitis Facts for Students


Student Health Services strongly recommends that all incoming freshmen and transfer students to H-SC receive the meningococcal meningitis vaccination as soon as possible after arrival on campus if it has not been obtained prior to arrival.   

Meningococcal meningitis is a serious illness that can lead to brain damage, disability, or death.  College freshmen, particularly those who live in dorms, have a modestly increased risk of contracting this disease. A vaccine is available that protects against four of the five most common strains and provides protection for 3-5 years. 

What are the Symptoms?

The early symptoms usually associated with meningococcal disease include: 

  • Fever (greater than 101 degrees)
  • Sudden and severe headache
  • Neck and back stiffness
  • Rash (1-2 mm appearing as tiny red, purple-black spots, or larger resembling bruises in areas such as armpits, groin and ankles)
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting



The vaccine is available at local health departments and travel clinics in metropolitan areas.  Student Health Services does provide the vaccine at cost on a pre-paid basis only. For additional information, please contact of the staff at 434-223-6167.

The following web sites are also helpful:

Center for Disease Control

American College Health Association