Emergency Guidelines for the Campus Community

E-Mail sent to undergraduates and their parents

August 25, 2014

Subject line: CDC recommends all Princeton undergraduates receive Meningitis B vaccine - clinics to be held Sept. 6 and 9 only at Princeton University

The CDC recommends that all Princeton University undergraduate students receive a vaccine that helps protect against meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B bacteria. Between March 2013 and March 2014, nine cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease have been associated with Princeton University. There have been no cases occurring on campus or affecting Princeton students since November 2013.

The vaccine is provided in two doses at separate times.

All incoming freshmen, and any undergraduate who did not receive the vaccine last academic year, may receive the first (or second) dose from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Frist Campus Center, Level B in the Multipurpose Room. 

Princeton University will cover the cost of the vaccine. The vaccine will only be available at these clinics, and it will not be administered anywhere else.

Students under the age of 18 will need a signed consent form from their parent or guardian before receiving the vaccine.

Because protection provided by the first dose declines over time, two doses of the vaccine are needed for full immunity. The second dose will be made available Oct 16 and 17.

Meningitis B is not covered by the vaccine that is required for teenagers in the US. There is no vaccine for meningitis B licensed in the US; however, beginning in December 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allowed the University to import a meningitis B vaccine that is licensed in Europe, Australia and Canada, but not in the US.

Students can help prevent the spread of bacterial meningitis by doing the following:

  • Don't share drinking glasses, smoking materials, eating utensils, cosmetics or lip balm
  • Always cough into a sleeve or tissue
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Use hand sanitizer often
  • Don't drink from a common source such as a punch bowl

Students who have received the meningitis B vaccine on campus have likely protected themselves from getting sick, but they can still spread the meningitis bacteria to others who have not been vaccinated.

If you or a close contact becomes sick:

  • Anyone with a high fever should seek medical attention immediately
  • Students should immediately report to or call University Health Services at 
  • You may become ill with meningitis even if you have not been in contact with someone who is sick

For frequently asked questions about the meningitis B vaccine, including specific questions for students, faculty, staff and community members, please visit: http://www.bit.ly/pumeng.


Cynthia Cherrey








Last update: 18-Mar-2014 9:55 AM
Web page comments or errors: Robin Izzo.