Emergency Guidelines for the Campus Community
Last update: December 4, 2013
Eight cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease have been associated with Princeton University. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Jersey Department of Health have advised not to cancel or curtail events or activities on campus.
Meningitis B vaccine dates and open forums
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that vaccines be given only to all undergraduate students; graduate students living in undergraduate dormitories, the Graduate College and annexes; and members of the University community with specific medical conditions, including problems with their spleen (including sickle cell disease) or complement pathway (a specific type of immune deficiency)
The first dose of the vaccine will be available from noon to 8 p.m. on Dec. 9, 10, 11 and 12, at Frist Campus Center, Level B in the Multipurpose Room.
The vaccine will be provided only to these groups, and it will not be administered anywhere else.
The vaccine is recommended for these specific groups by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help protect against meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B bacteria.
All eligible individuals must sign an informed consent form at the vaccine clinic. Experts from the CDC will go over the form and answer any questions at the clinic.
Students under 18 years old must have a parent or guardian sign a parental consent form and bring it to the clinic in order to be vaccinated. Scanned and printed versions will be accepted.
If you are interested in learning more about the vaccine or bacterial meningitis, CDC experts and University representatives will be available at the events below:
The second dose of the vaccine will be made available in February. Two doses of the vaccine are needed for maximum protection. Students leaving for or returning from study abroad will be contacted to discuss an alternate schedule to allow them to receive both doses of the vaccine.
Princeton University will cover the cost of the vaccine.
For frequently asked questions about the University vaccine clinics, including specific questions for students, faculty, staff and community members, please visit: http://web.princeton.edu/sites/emergency/meningitis.html.
For frequently asked questions about the vaccine and bacterial meningitis, please visit the CDC's meningitis information website: http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/vaccine-serogroupB.html#serogroup.
You may also email the CDC at firstname.lastname@example.org, which is dedicated to answering questions about the vaccine.
The vaccine that is being recommended is licensed for use in Europe and Australia, but not the United States. The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration have allowed the use of this vaccine for this particular situation at Princeton. The vaccines will be administered by Maxim Health Systems, which also runs the annual flu vaccine clinic on campus.
Students who already received a meningococcal vaccine are not currently protected against serogroup B. The vaccine recommended by the CDC will protect against the specific strain involved in the outbreak at Princeton.
The CDC and state health officials recommend that classes and activities at Princeton University continue as planned, and the surrounding community can continue to attend events on the campus. They do not recommend any travel restrictions for members of the University community. The bacteria are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been, and there is no evidence to suggest a risk of spreading the bacteria by touching surfaces.
Students, including those who get the vaccine, and other members of the University community should continue to pay increased attention to personal hygienic practices and remember these important points about meningitis:
The University will continue to provide reminders and additional information about the vaccine and precautions to help limit the spread of bacterial meningitis.
This website provides information resources for meningitis. This list of questions and answers and resources on this page will be updated regularly.