Emergency Guidelines for the Campus Community

E-Mail sent to graduate students

May 28, 2014

SUBJECT: Meningitis B vaccine clinic May 29; Grad students leaving campus.

A meningitis B vaccine clinic will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on May 29, in the McCosh Infirmary, room G20. Eligible individuals may receive the first or second dose at the clinic. Those who get the first dose will have an opportunity to receive a second dose at a later time. The University recently expanded the population eligible to receive the vaccine (see below for eligibility criteria).

As graduate students leave campus for the summer, they should continue to practice behaviors to limit the spread of bacterial meningitis, such as not sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils or smoking materials.

Bacterial meningitis is contagious and generally spread through sharing drinks, utensils or smoking materials, and kissing.

Undergraduate and graduate students who already received the meningitis B vaccine on campus have likely protected themselves from getting sick, but could still spread the meningitis bacteria to others who have not been vaccinated.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that there is no evidence that family members and the community are at increased risk of getting meningococcal disease from casual contact with Princeton University students, faculty or staff.  The CDC and state health officials do not recommend any travel restrictions for members of the campus community.

The best way to prevent the spread of meningitis is 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

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 609-258-3141
  • You may become ill with meningitis even if you have not been in contact with someone who is sick


Graduate student may receive the meningitis vaccine if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • Currently live in the Graduate College and annexes
  • Currently living in dormitories.
  • Will be moving into the Graduate College in the summer or fall
  • Will be Resident Graduate Assistants in the fall

Now that the populations identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being at an increased risk of getting meningitis have been offered two doses of the meningitis B vaccine, the CDC is allowing Princeton University to expand the eligible population in order to distribute some of the remaining doses.    

All of the following criteria must be met in order to be considered for eligibility:

  • Be a member of the faculty, staff, or a graduate student at the University.
  • Be planning to remain on or near campus for 30 days after receiving each of the first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • Be under 30 years of age. Young adults are at higher risk of getting meningococcal disease.
  • Be in an intimate relationship with an undergraduate student or a graduate student living in the Graduate College, Graduate College Annex, or in the undergraduate residential colleges. 

If you meet these criteria and are interested in receiving the vaccine, please complete the meningitis B vaccine request form.

Information submitted through the form will be shared with the CDC to determine eligibility, and applicants will be contacted with a response of whether or not they are considered eligible for the vaccine. 

The vaccine will continue to be available for all Princeton University 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).

For frequently asked questions about the University vaccine clinics, including specific questions about eligible populations, the second dose and more, 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/outbreaks/vaccine-serogroupB.html

You may also email the CDC at meningvaccine@cdc.gov, which is dedicated to answering questions about the vaccine.









Last update: 02-Jun-2014 5:17 PM
Web page comments or errors: Robin Izzo.