Health Services Meningococcal Disease Immunization Requirements
Understand the benefits of the meningococcal meningitis vaccine.
Updates about the policy and vaccine have been posted as of June 30, 2016.
Meningococcal disease is a potentially fatal bacterial infection commonly referred to as meningitis. New York State Public Health Law (NYSPHL) 2167 requires institutions, including colleges and universities, to distribute information about meningococcal disease and vaccine to all students meeting the enrollment criteria, whether they live on or off campus.
Adelphi University is required to maintain a record of the following for each student:
- A response to receipt of meningococcal disease and vaccine information signed by the student or student’s parent or guardian
- A record of meningococcal immunization within the past 5 years;
- An acknowledgement of meningococcal disease risks and refusal of meningococcal immunization signed by the student or student’s parent or guardian.
Meningococcal disease is rare. However, when it strikes, its flu-like symptoms make diagnosis difficult. Meningococcal disease can cause serious illnesses such as infection of the lining of the brain and spinal column (meningitis) or blood infections (sepsis). The disease strikes quickly and can lead to severe and permanent disabilities, such as hearing loss, brain damage, seizures, limb amputation and even lead to death.
Meningococcal disease can easily spread from person-to-person by coughing, sharing beverages or eating utensils, kissing, or spending time in close contact with someone who is sick or who carries the bacteria. People can spread the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease even before they know they are sick. There have been several outbreaks of meningococcal disease at college campuses across the United States.
The single best way to prevent meningococcal disease is to be vaccinated. As of 2016 the most recent recommendations are for the meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) vaccine. This protects against four major strains of bacteria which cause about two-thirds of meningococcal disease in the United States (U.S.). The MenACWY vaccine is recommended for all U.S. teenagers and young adults up to age 21 years. Protection from the MenACWY vaccine is estimated to last about 3 to 5 years, so young adults who received the MenACWY vaccine before their 16th birthday should get a booster dose before entering college. The meningococcal B (MenB) vaccine protects against a fifth type of meningococcal disease, which accounts for about one-third of cases in the U.S. Young adults aged 16 through 23 years may choose to receive the MenB vaccine series. Students may also opt to have both. They should discuss these decisions with their healthcare provider.
All private insurance plans not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act are required to cover the cost of MenACWY and MenB vaccines. Contact your health insurance plan to determine whether it covers MenACWY and MenB vaccines. The federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) and NYS Vaccines for Adults (VFA) programs will cover both MenACWY and MenB vaccines for children and adults who have no health insurance or whose health insurance does not cover these vaccines, as well as for children less than 19 years of age who are American Indian or Alaska Native or eligible for Medicaid or Child Health Plus.
Vaccine Availability and Cost
The MenACWY and/or MenB vaccines are available as follows:
- By appointment with the University’s collaborating physician, Dr. Kevin Curley, Jr. in Mineola 516.663.2051;
- By appointment with your private physician, local walk-in clinic or Urgent Care Center;
- By appointment in the Health Services Center at Adelphi University for a fee 516.877.6001. Students who are covered by the school health insurance policy are able to receive the vaccine for free under this policy.
Please carefully review the Meningococcal Disease Fact Sheet from the New York State Department of Health.
Please complete the Meningococcal Vaccination Response Form (Part D of the Complete Health and Immunization Forms)and return it to Adelphi University Health Services Center, Waldo Hall, Garden City, NY 11530 prior to the first day of classes.
You can also complete this form online. Log in to eCampus and select CLASS under Services. In CLASS, click on the meningitis link on the left menu.
To learn more about meningitis and the vaccine, please feel free to contact our Health Services Center and/or consult with your healthcare provider.