Three diagnosed students released with clean bill of health
THE SANTA CLARA
February 11, 2016
More than half of the undergraduate student population swiftly mobilized to receive meningitis vaccines after an outbreak of the bacteria that causes meningococcal infections rattled campus.
A total of 4,923 doses of a meningococcal B vaccine called Bexsero® were administered to students at four on-campus vaccination clinics, according to a Feb. 9 university press release.
“The short amount of time—less than 48 hours—between the confirmation of the outbreak and the start of mass vaccination clinics set a national record for this disease,” said Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody in a Feb. 9 Santa Clara County Health Department press release. “I am very proud and grateful to think of the talent, dedication and sheer grit required to make these clinics happen.”
The Center for Disease Control recommends that the Bexsero® vaccine should be administered in two doses at least one month apart. The university is planning to hold on-campus vaccination clinics to give out the second dose.
“In the coming weeks, we will reach out to all students who received the first dose of the vaccine at the (Santa Clara University) clinics and provide information about receiving the second dose of the vaccine,” a Feb. 9 university press release stated.
Students lined up to receive the vaccine after three students fell ill on Sunday, Jan. 31 after being infected with the serogroup B strain of the bacteria that causes meningitis, according to a Feb. 9 Santa Clara County Public Health Department press release.
“Two of the ill students developed meningitis as a result of the bacterial infection, while a third developed septicemia (a blood infection),” the health department press release stated.
All three students have been discharged from the hospital in good condition, the health department press release stated.
Using federal funds, the California Department of Public Health provided approximately 5,000 doses of the Meningitis B vaccine to Santa Clara students for free. They will provide an additional 5,000 shots for students next month.
Many students waited in a colossal line for upwards of three hours on Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 to receive the first dose of the vaccine.
Ironically, there was little to no wait for the much smaller vaccine clinics held on Feb. 6 and Feb. 8. The university is taking steps to prevent students from spending several hours waiting for the shot the second time around.
“To help alleviate wait times, students will be able to schedule appointments via an online registration system,” the university press release stated.
The cost of purchasing 10,000 vaccines should total roughly $800,000, since the health department press release indicated that the retail cost of each dose of the vaccine is usually $160.
If students can’t get vaccinated on campus, they have the option of getting the Meningitis B shot at 17 CVS pharmacy locations in Santa Clara county, according to a Feb. 10 CVS Health press release.
The two closest CVS pharmacies to campus are located at 3081 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, and 821 The Alameda, San Jose. Students should bring their health insurance cards with them if they would like to get vaccinated.
CVS pharmacies in cities including San Jose, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Campbell are also offering the vaccines in response to the outbreak, and will have the second round of booster vaccines available in the coming weeks.
According to the press release, all CVS Pharmacies in California can order the Meningitis B vaccine upon request and have it available the next day.
The cost of the vaccine will depend on the student’s health insurance plan and which of the two Meningitis B vaccines are administered, according to Brent Burkhardt, a spokesperson for TBC U.S.
Contact Sophie Mattson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4849.