6,000 Princeton University students getting meningitis vaccine

Dec. 9, 2013 at 2:07 PM
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PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Some 6,000 students at Princeton University and others in New Jersey began vaccinations Monday against meningitis which has sickened eight, officials say.

A specially-imported vaccine -- approved in Europe and Australia, but not the United States -- protects against the B strain of meningitis, which isn't covered by the vaccines most U.S. college students already receive, NBC News reported.

In an unrelated outbreak of meningitis B, at the University of California, Santa Barbara, at least four students were infected last month and the feet of an 18-year-old freshman were amputated due to complications, family reports said.

Meningitis infections, are rare but very serious and kill 1-in-10 affected and leave about 20 percent of those who survive with severe disabilities, including limb loss, deafness and mental retardation.

University officials said the students and others will be able to get their initial doses at clinics held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and then get the second round of shots in February, NBC News reported.

Princeton is paying the bill for the vaccine and will administer it in the same way it gives flu shots, said Dr. Thomas Clark of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, who is overseeing the vaccine distribution.

Topics: Most U.S.
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