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Old Dominion University's Student Health Center will offer meningitis vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, in the North Mall of Webb University Center.

A new Virginia law took effect in 2001 requiring all new full-time students enrolling in a four-year public institution of higher education to have the meningococcal meningitis vaccine. The law also permits students -- or if the student is a minor, the student's parent or legal guardian -- to sign a waiver stating that they are declining immunization and have received meningitis and risk information, as well as information on the availability and effectiveness of the vaccine.

Meningitis, which is caused by both viruses and bacteria, is an inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. The bacterial form can cause the meningococcal variety of the disease, which strikes about 3,000 people nationwide annually and kills up to 15 percent of its victims.

The disease, spread by close contact with others who are infected, affects approximately 150 to 200 college students nationwide each year. About 65 percent of those cases could have been prevented by vaccination, according to the American College Health Association (ACHA). Students are at greater risk of contracting the disease because they live and work in close proximity to one another in dorms and classrooms.

The cost for the vaccine is $68. Students can have the cost billed to their student account or pay by check or money order. More information on student immunizations is available at www.odu.edu/studenthealth or by calling 683-3132.

This article was posted on: August 16, 2002

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.