UMass reminding students to get second half of meningitis vaccine

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – More than 7,000 UMass students have been vaccinated against meningitis, since the CDC declared an outbreak on campus last month.

The meningitis vaccine is two injections, 28 days apart. University Health Services are reminding students to get that second dose.

Jeremy Kelleher, a Senior at UMass, told 22News, “Probably have to set a reminder in my phone.”

With winter break approaching, UMass Health Services wants students to remember their second vaccine shot, to be fully protected against meningitis.

“I hope to find the time during my break. Obviously I wont be thinking about school and everything, so it should be right on my to-do list,” said Molly O’Neil, a Senior at UMass.

Health Services said they have enough vaccine for all students on campus. They’re holding five walk-in vaccination clinics until the end of the semester.

If you were vaccinated over Thanksgiving break, you’re now eligible for your second vaccinations, but first check the date to see when you were vaccinated, to make sure 28 days have passed.

Ann Becker, a UMass public health nurse, told 22News, “So if they miss the second dose they’ll just be only partially, have only partial immunity, not really as good as it should be at all.”

Two UMass students were diagnosed with meningitis, weeks apart this fall.

Becker said the University is urging students to get vaccinated before going home for winter break.

“So I’m not going to be remembering all that much. I kind of want go skiing. Nothing that really wants me to go to a doctor’s office,” said Kelleher.

The last vaccination clinic of the semester will be Tuesday, December 19th.  Becker said, vaccinations clinics will reopen when students return from winter break in January.

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