Vaccines required for college and potential risks

Every year young adults venture out to a new world, college. Not only is this unknown territory scary, but the whole experience can be hard to understand. There are requirements before students can even begin. It’s not just about the books and scheduling the classes! Every state has different requirements of vaccinations that every new college bound student must have before they are allowed to start classes.

The CDC website states that the following are the vaccines recommended for college students: Tetanus-Diptheria-Pertussis vaccine, Meningococcal vaccine, HPV vaccine series, Hepatitis B vaccine series, Polio vaccine series, Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine series, Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine series, Influenza vaccine, Pneumococcal polysaccharid (PPV) vaccine, and the Hepatitis A vaccine series.

Also according to the same website as above, college freshmen, especially those who live in dormitories, are at a slightly increased risk for bacterial meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria (meningococcal disease) compared with other persons of the same age. As of 2009, a total of 34 states have adopted legislation requiring colleges to provide information on risks of meningococcal disease to incoming students and/or students residing on campus, and 15 states have mandated vaccination for certain students, unless a vaccination waiver is provided. There are currently two vaccines licensed in the United States to protect against meningococcal meningitis.

However, before getting your college bound young adult vaccinated make sure your state requires all of those listed above. Each state is different. Anytime that we are vaccinated we are at risk of side effects and allergic reactions. Keep in mind most doctors won’t report these reactions and side effects to the CDC, because they would rather push the vaccines than have us know the facts.

Tetanus-Diptheria-Pertussis vaccine, the HPV vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine, MMR vaccine, and the Varicella vaccine can all cause some side effects. The most common are pain, redness or swelling, mild fever of up to 100.4°F, headache, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, chills, body aches, sore joints, rash, swollen glands.

Measles, mumps, and rubella (German Measles) are serious diseases. They spread when germs pass from infected person to the nose or throat of others. Some of the serious side effects from the vaccination are long seizures, decreased consciousness, coma, a serious allergic reaction, or a low number of platelets (a type of blood cell) that can lead to bleeding problems. This is almost always temporary.

Meningococcal vaccine can cause some severe side effects within a few minutes to a few hours of the shot. A serious nervous system disorder called Guillain-Barré Syndrome (or GBS) has been reported among some people who received MCV4. The CDC states that this is rare.

The HPV vaccine has been known to cause brief fainting spells and related symptoms (such as jerking movements). This side effect caused the CDC to force the maker of the HPV vaccine to add this side effect to the label.

So here’s the bottom line, inform yourself or your children of all possible side effects from any vaccines before getting those that are required. Know your rights to waiver those vaccines that the college or state requires.


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