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Immunizations for the college-bound kid

pyewacketpyewacket 1568 replies114 threads Senior Member
edited August 2005 in Parents Forum
What immunizations should a kid have before being sent off to live in a college dorm? How far in advance do these need to be started?
edited August 2005
22 replies
Post edited by pyewacket on
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Replies to: Immunizations for the college-bound kid

  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 threads Senior Member

    By chance, I have my S's immunization record from his going to camp this summer. I'm not sure I can decipher all the abbreviations, but, for what they're worth, here they are:

    Td vaccine (adult) 1999.
    DTP vaccine 1988
    DT vaccine (child) 1994
    Hflu b conj (HbOC) 1989
    Hep B Vaccine (recombinant) 1999,2000, 2001.
    Polio Vaccine, 1988, 1989, 1992
    MMR vaccine, 1989, 1998
    TB test, 1989, 1993, 1994, 2005
    Meningococ Polysac vaccine 2004

    The meningococcal vaccine is required by some colleges; others strongly urge students to get it but do not require it. My S got it because he was going to camp and would be living in a dorm which is the ideal context for spreading meningitis. All the other immunizations and tests are standard.

    Hope this helps.
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  • epiphanyepiphany 8405 replies170 threads Senior Member
    As to "how far in advance," that would be mostly a matter of medical protocol & would be discussed with physicians. My D's college choices required a complete list of the standard U.S. childhood immunizations, + the meningitis vaccine by the summer before freshman registration. Also, all repetitive type shots had to be current (such as recent tetanus booster, etc.). If I didn't know which colleges would be the ultimate choice(s), I would just select the maximum recommended, if I were you, because "recommended" will be "required" by some colleges. I guess I would call the Health Services Dept's at various colleges of choice & mention that you need to plan for the eventuality of admission there, & what are their immuniz. requirements & recommendations?

    My D's eventual college choice did say to us by phone that if immunizations could not be completed by end of summer, they would be offered (mandated!) in September after the student's arrival. That ended up not being necessary for us but might be for some internat'ls, or for students traveling or working full time in summer. That should also be discussed with a Health Services Dept if there's a likelihood of not being able to finish a protocol series of shots by a particular date.
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  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 34785 replies1076 threads Senior Member
    My daughter just ahd a physical and dr recommended the flu vaccine but not the menigitis because she isn't in a dorm
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  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 threads Senior Member
    Flu vaccines are usually administered in October or November and vary depending on which type of flu is likely to spread.
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  • clevelandcleveland 324 replies24 threads Member
    Please get your child immunized for meningitis. My friend's 19 year-old son died from the disease in April; he was to start college this fall. He went hiking Thursday evening with friends; by Saturday at 7 a.m., he was dead. My friend is devastated.
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  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 threads Senior Member
    I should note that there is a new meningitis vaccine that is more effective and lasts longerthan the one my S got last year.
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  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 threads Senior Member
    From the Boston Globe online (www.Boston.com)

    Meningitis reported at Hampton day-care center

    August 30, 2005

    CONCORD, N.H. --State health officials say they're responding to a possible case of bacterial meningitis reported at a Hampton day-care enter.

    The 3-year-old child is being treated for the disease that causes meningitis, an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The center's staff and parents of children who attend the center have been advised to consult their doctors about obtaining antibiotics.

    Meningitis strikes about 15 people a year in New Hampshire. Symptoms include headache, fever, nausea and stiff neck.
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  • karthikkitokarthikkito 1375 replies12 threads Senior Member
    I got it the other day...

    Doctor: "We're using a new shot. It's sooooo much better, we know it's highly effective unlike the old one where we weren't sure of % coverage and stuff, sore arms from the shot are not as frequent, and it lasts longer...."

    Nurse: "[ditto. but for 5 minutes longer]"

    I guess the new vaccine really is an improvement over the old one.

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  • jmmomjmmom 8916 replies168 threads Senior Member
    Your college (or the college you choose if you are rising Senior) will likely have a posting of required vaccines. Ours did. You should have PLENTY of time. There were some worries about the availability of the new (and superior) meningitis vaccine (I believe it is Menactra). However, we had no trouble at all getting it for S.

    In the case of S' school, he could not complete online registration for courses until proof of required vaccines had been provided. There were readily available online forms to do this, the staff at the school were very helpful by phone (and receiving a fax when there was some confusion about his vaccines). The vaccine would have been available on his campus when he arrived, had he not been able to obtain it here. In that case, he would have been able to register for classes "provisionally" and prove that remaining immunization upon arrival.
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  • MoominmamaMoominmama 807 replies20 threads Member
    I just got back from getting my son immunized with the new meningitis vaccine. Turns out there's also a Hepatitis A vaccine that they gave him as well. (He'd already had the B series). So, Pyewacket, you might also look into that one as well. And thank heavens for a good HMO -- no extra cost for all this. The college health service would have done the meningitis for $125!
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  • JeepMOMJeepMOM 2468 replies31 threads Senior Member
    In some parts of the country - the mengitis vaccine is pretty scarce for incoming college students - would be a great idea to contact the schools health center to inquire about getting the vaccine after arrival to campus - you may have to pay upfront - but it can be usually be submitted to insurance company for coverage - just another option as we ran into this situation - no vaccine was available for 100 miles in any direction.
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  • AudiB4AudiB4 468 replies27 threads Member
    Just got the meningitis vaccine for my son-$175! It was not necessary but highly recommended and my pediatrician said he had all his kids immunized for camp and school. However, it is not always available-he had to get some more from another colleague to accomodate all his patients, so call your doctor in advance to make sure they have it or can order it.
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  • xjayzxjayz 1635 replies19 threads Senior Member
    AudiB4: I didn't have to pay for my meningitis vaccine! $175.00? My doctor said that even if I wasn't covered under insurance (We have the state-sponsored Care Plus), it would be $100.00. That seems outrageous that you had to pay $175!
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  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 threads Senior Member
    Our HMO provides the vaccine for free.
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  • AudiB4AudiB4 468 replies27 threads Member
    I don't have health insurance so knew it was coming out of my pocket. I made a mistake-vaccine was $125, office visit $50 so therefore, the $175.
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  • evitajr1evitajr1 926 replies17 threads Member
    Better start shots early because the Hepatitis vaccines take more than one shot at certain intervals. My D had 2 and when we turned in her shot record to the college, (these are required by MA law) they said they could do the last one, or we could do it when she comes home in January. Since we started the series when she was under 18 at a county supported clinic, she will continue the series as if she were a minor for $10 per shot. Adults get to pay lots more. Also got the meningitis shot, but that cost $130 and that is the county backed price!!!! The old one is just $10.
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  • momsdreammomsdream 1583 replies48 threads Senior Member
    Son got the meningitis vaccine last week - HMO covered the cost.
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  • IcarusIcarus 4304 replies31 threads Senior Member
    My daughter just ahd a physical and dr recommended the flu vaccine but not the menigitis because she isn't in a dorm

    to be perfectly blunt, thats not a good reason not to get the vaccine.
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  • collegialmomcollegialmom 764 replies7 threads Member
    The new meningitis vaccine, called Menactra, is eventually going to be recommended for all children. The target groups now are adolescents, highest priority being college entry students. The only reason now not to give it to all teenagers beginning at age 11 is the limited availability of the vaccine. Most doctors are trying to give it to college bound students as the first priority.

    This vaccine is more broad spectrum per serotypes of the bacteria, and lasts several years longer, so it will be given to far more adolescents and young adults. It has been well-tested and gives good strong protection against a devastating disease. It is highly recommended for all adolescents, with few exceptions, not just those in dorms, because even though the dorm population has the highest incidence, it is not limited to that population only.

    Here is the link to the CDC information:

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  • over30over30 2342 replies69 threads Senior Member
    My son got the old vaccine a year ago. Would it be ok to get Menactra now? Should he?
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