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Princeton Offers Second Dose of Meningitis Vaccine

Princeton University is offering booster shots for students and staff who received the meningitis B vaccine late last year.

Flu Shot
Mario Tama, Getty Images

The second dose will be available from Monday through Thursday at the school’s Frist Campus Center. It’s available to undergraduate students, graduate students living on campus and staff members with certain illnesses.

Nearly 5,300 people got the vaccine for the B strain of the meningitis bacteria. That represents 91 percent of the approximately 5,800 university community members who were eligible to receive it.

The vaccine is approved for use in Europe, Australia and Canada but is not yet approved for general use in the United States.

The vaccinations were given last December as part of the university’s effort to halt an outbreak.

People who only received one dose of the vaccine have an increased risk of getting meningitis, because the protection provided by the first dose declines over time. State law requires that all students who live in college dorms in New Jersey receive a meningitis vaccination, but that does not protect against the B strain.

Officials have said seven Princeton students and a campus visitor contracted the uncommon meningitis strain in 2013. It causes flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, vomiting, rashes and sensitivity to light.

 

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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