Two meningococcal immunization clinics to be offered this month

Martha Adams, RN of Student Health Services administers a meningococcal B vaccine shot to OSU graphic design student Annie Mitev. 

the Baro Staff

University encourages all students to get vaccinated regardless of insurance status

In response to the confirmed case of the B strain of meningococcal disease on the Oregon State University Corvallis campus, Student Health Services is offering two immunization clinics for students this month. 

According to an all-students email sent Nov. 2, the meningococcal disease is uncommon; however, it is serious. 

“Those at highest risk include students age 25 and younger who live in residence halls and in private cooperative group living units, or are members of—or visit—fraternal living groups associated with the university,” the email stated. 

Symptoms of this disease include a high fever, a rash, headache, stiff neck, exhaustion and nausea or vomiting. SHS advises to keep medical evaluation if these symptoms develop. 

The university will host two immunization clinics for students this month for meningitis as well as other vaccines in order to promote good public health, according to the email. 

The first meningococcal B immunization clinic will be held Wednesday, Nov. 8 in the Memorial Union multi-purpose room 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This clinic will offer the meningococcal (MCV4) and meningococcal B immunizations. 

The second immunization clinic will be held Tuesday, Nov. 21 in the MU Journey Room 104 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the immunizations offered at this clinic will be measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), varicella (chickenpox), hepatitis, tetanus diphtheria pertussis (Tdap), meningococcal MCV4 and meningococcal B. 

“Additionally, OSU Student Health Services (SHS) and the Student Health Pharmacy continue to provide students meningococcal B vaccines in Plageman Hall, 108 S.W. Memorial Place,” the email stated. “Many other health care providers in the community have the meningococcal B vaccine available on request.”

Students or their family members are encouraged to contact their insurance provider to verify insurance coverage for the vaccine, according to the email. 

“When speaking with an insurance representative, it is important to mention that OSU Corvallis campus has been designated an ‘outbreak”’status by federal, state and county public health officials,” the email stated. 

According to the SHS webpage, in many cases, informing insurance providers of OSU’s “outbreak” status will require them to cover the cost of immunizations fully. 

Vaccines for domestic and international students with Aetna Student Health or Pacific Source will be fully covered. For those receiving vaccines, SHS will bill students’ insurance plans, which includes Oregon Health Plan. 

According to the email, SHS is working to ensure that as many insurance plans as possible cover the vaccine when administered at OSU. SHS will assist international students and others whose plans do not cover the vaccine if they are enabled by OSU to get receive the vaccine at an alternate location. 

“Regardless of your insurance status, it is important that students take the time to be vaccinated, the email stated. 

Due to three confirmed cases on campus during the last academic year, every new incoming student under the age of 22 was required to be fully immunized for meningococcal B beginning Fall 2017. This requirement will continue until there has been a full year without a reported case. 

For questions about insurance coverage, students and family members can contact the SHS Billing Office at 541-737-8370. More information about the meningococcal disease is available by calling the OSU Student Health Services Nurse Advice line at 541-737-2724 or Benton County Health Department communicable disease nurses at 541-766-6835.