Incoming West Virginia University students will soon be receiving official notice of required and suggested immunizations necessary for fall admittance.
WVU s Admissions and Records Office is sending letters directly to studentshomes outlining the information.
All WVU freshmen and transfer students will be required to have two doses of Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR). Beginning with the fall 2007 semester, first-time freshmen entering the University will also be required to be inoculated with the Meningococcal vaccine.
The Meningococcal vaccine is a new requirement and is being implemented to protect against bacterial meningitisan infection of the fluid around the spinal cord and brain.
The immunization requirements are being instituted to protect the students, faculty, staff and University community members from preventable diseases.
Many colleges and universities across the country are implementingor have implementedthis requirement. According to the Web site of the National Meningitis Association (http://www.nmaus.org/), a non-profit organization that seeks to educate the public about meningitis, 34 states also have laws or policies requiring vaccinations for students.
Our goal is to maintain a safe and healthy environment for every WVU student, employee and visitor,said Dr. Robert M. DAlessandri, vice president for health sciences.Adding meningitis vaccination to the list of requirements for students is a common-sense way to prevent the spread of disease on our campus.
In addition, health officials strongly recommend students be vaccinated against: polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis A and B, chicken pox (varicella vaccine), influenza, and HPV (human papilloma virusfemales only). For some, the pneumovax is also recommended, as well as testing for Tuberculosis.
These vaccinations are safe, usually covered by health insurance, and will help prevent illnesses that may disrupt their college life and education,said Dr. Jan Palmer, director of the Student Health Service.
Students are required to complete an Immunization Form or provide documentation of immunization to the Office of Admissions and Records before the start of the semester. Forms are available on line athttp://admissions.wvu.edu/undergraduate/application/immunization.asp.
For more information on meningitis, visit the Center for Disease control Web sitehttp://www.cdc.gov.
The Student Health Service is also available for consultations and to give immunizations to enrolled students by contacting a WVU Student Health Nurse at 293-2311.