Is your child about to go off to college in the fall? There will be things you will no longer be able to control- typical college life things such as poor diet (remember “the freshman 15?”), lack of sleep, over-work, and perhaps, for some, a slight dip into the partying scene. Unfortunately, these are things that you can no longer protect them from. What you can do, however, is ensure that they get their college vaccines. Since prevention is key, colleges across the country have made mandatory the acquisition of certain college vaccines. Below are the top 5 questions answered about college vaccines by our experienced staff:
1. I don’t remember what vaccines I had as a kid; Where can I find my medical records?
Almost all colleges will give you a health form to fill out before you head off to class. Here will be your opportunity to visit your pediatrician, and discuss your immunization records. If you are not able to do so, you can always contact your family doctor at any time with questions regarding your medical history. They know all of the requirements and are usually stocked with the vaccinations.
The other common vaccines that may be required by your college are the combined tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine.
2.What are the top vaccines the colleges require?
There are two vaccines that most colleges require prior to attendance, however; keep in mind that every situation may vary, so it is useful to have you immunization records on hand for your appointment. The first required vaccination is the Meningococcal vaccine for Meningitis, and the Hepatitis B vaccine.
Meningitis is a dangerous disease which can become life threatening very quickly. The disease culminates in the inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and unfortunately college students are in the most susceptible age group.
Hepatitis B can lead to long term damage of the liver as well as a host of other symptoms. It is a blood-born disease, and can easily be contracted through sexual activity.
3. I’m not 18 yet. Will I need my parents’ permission?
Yes, you will need your parent or guardian’s permission if you are a minor. This applies to all states across the U.S.
4. Do colleges typically provide these vaccines?
Every school will be different, but a simple call to the campus health center should answer your question. It may be that your college provides this service, but make sure you ask if the cost will be covered. It is more than likely that when you receive your freshman orientation packet, all of this information will be enclosed.
5. Is it common to have a bad reaction to the college vaccines?
In general, these are very safe vaccines, and all are FDA approved. There are instances when a slight reaction may occur. A doctor or nurse may tell you to call back if you run a fever, which occasionally happens. As all situations vary, you may have a slight reaction, but if you do it will not be serious or long lasting.
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Do you have a college freshman or transfer student heading off to school? Be sure they’re up to date with their college vaccines. At AFC Urgent Care New Britain we are armed with all the vaccines and will keep your college student safe and healthy. If they can obtain their vaccination/immunization records prior to walking in, that is always helpful and will save time, and if they have their college paperwork with the exact requirements, make sure to bring that as well.
We are here for you, going above and beyond urgent care, 7 days a week.