Nearly half of states mandate that incoming college students get vaccinated with a meningococcal vaccine, especially if they will be living on campus.
This is classically the booster dose of the meningococcal vaccine that is given when teens are about 16 years old, after getting the first dose at age 11 to 12 years.
“First-year college students who live in residential housing (if not previously vaccinated at age 16 years or older) and military recruits: 1 dose MenACWY (Menactra, Menveo)”Meningococcal | Who Needs to Be Vaccinated
But what happens if your first year on campus comes when you are much older, like if you return for graduate school?
“Persons aged 19 through 21 years are not recommended routinely to receive MenACWY. MenACWY may be administered up to age 21 years as catch-up vaccination for those who have not received a dose after their 16th birthday.”Prevention and Control of Meningococcal Disease: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
In that situation, you typically wouldn’t need another dose unless you were in a high risk group, especially if you already had two doses of MenACWY in the past, even if it had been more than five years since your last dose.
Many states actually have exceptions built into their vaccine laws to help clarify this issue.
Unfortunately, some don’t.
Which can lead some older students confused about whether they would benefit from a MenACWY vaccine.
Keep in mind that these older students could benefit from a MenB vaccine if they haven’t had one yet, as it is indicated through age 23 years.
More on Meningococcal Vaccines for Graduate Students
- A Guide to Evaluating Vaccine Information for Legislators
- Is the Meningococcal Vaccine More Dangerous Than Meningococcal Disease?
- Meningococcal Disease Outbreaks
- How Can They Make a Vaccine for a Bacteria?
- CDC – Meningococcal | Who Needs to Be Vaccinated
- Immunization Recommendations for College Students
- Prevention and Control of Meningococcal Disease: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
- Licensure of a Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (Menveo) and Guidance for Use — Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2010
- Updated Recommendation from the ACIP for Revaccination of Persons at Prolonged Increased Risk for Meningococcal Disease
- Notice to Readers: Revised Recommendations of the ACIP to Vaccinate All Persons Aged 11-18 Years with Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine
- IAC – Ask the Experts about Meningococcal Vaccines
- IAC – MenACWY Vaccine Mandates for Colleges and Universities
- IAC – MenACWY Vaccine Mandates for Elementary and Secondary Schools
- IAC’s MenB Vaccination Honor Roll
- IAC – Ask the Experts about MenB Vaccines