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Major Concerns Surround Meningitis Vaccine for College Students

If you are the parent of a college student, or are one yourself, it's important to know the facts about the meningococcal vaccine, which some colleges are making a requirement for incoming students (there are ways around this, though). First, meningitis affects less than one in 100,000 people in the United States each year, and half of these are in infants. O f those who are infected, most recover fully.

The vaccine itself, however, has not been tested to see if it causes cancer or infertility, and it does not protect against at least one-third of the strains of the meningococcal disease, according to the package insert! Before opting for this vaccine, also know that college students who have received it have experienced side effects, including:

  • Serious symptoms of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), a condition with similarities to multiple sclerosis
  • Headaches, fatigue and malaise
  • Aches and pain in their joints

Past studies have also found that the meningitis vaccine can cause diabetes. For more information on vaccines, including how to exercise your right to decline one, check out my vaccine links page, as well as the site below.