Tell Me About Immunizations, Vaccines, and TB Skin Test

 
 

This page is intended to provide you with information on immunization and vaccine services offered at Student Health Services. By providing you with the opportunity to take advantage of these services it is our goal to keep you as healthy as possible during your stay on campus. Students under the age of 18 years must have written parental/guardian consent before any vaccine is given.

To learn more about vaccines and immunizations, click on the vaccine/immunization below that you are interested in:

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine

Hepatitis B Vaccine (and a word about Hepatitis A)

Meningitis Vaccine

Varicella Vaccine (Chicken Pox)

Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine

Polio Vaccine

Influenza Vaccine (Flu Shot)

Tuberculin Skin Test (TB Test)


Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The virus attacks the liver, and can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure, liver cancer and even death. There are 300,000 new hepatitis B infections each year in the U.S., 90% of which occur in young adults.

Hepatitis B is transmitted through blood or body fluids, such as saliva, semen and vaginal secretions of a person who is infected with the virus. A person can acquire HBV by having unprotected sex with a person who is infected with the virus, by having a job that exposes him/her to infected human blood, or by sharing needles for injecting drugs.

The health care providers at Student Health Services of SUNY Oneonta are recommending that all students be vaccinated against the hepatitis B virus. The policy of Student Health Services is in accordance with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College Health Association of 1991 that all young adults be vaccinated against hepatitis B whenever possible.

Please seriously consider being vaccinated against hepatitis B. Call Student Health Services at (607) 436-3573 if you have any questions about the hepatitis B virus or vaccine..


A word about Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a type of viral hepatitis that is transmitted though the oral-fecal route. People usually contract this type through contaminated foods or water. There is no treatment for this disease once it has been contracted, but there is a vaccine available to prevent this type of hepatitis.

Student Health Services does stock and administer this vaccine. The vaccine cosists of a two-dose series, with the second dose gives 9-12 months after the first injection. Presently, the cost of the vaccine at Student Health Services is a co-payment of $32.00. There is no additional cost for the visit, The cost of the vaccine may be covered by your insurance, so we advise you to check with your insurance company.


Influenza Vaccine (Flu Shot)

Influenza (flu) is a respiratory disease caused by influenza virus infection. The types or strains of influenza virus causing illness may change from year to year, or even within the same year. People who get flu may have fever, chills, headache, dry cough and muscle aches and may be sick for several days to a week or more. Most people recover completely. However, for some people flu may be especially severe, and pneumonia or other complications including death may develop. Although young adults are not generally considered in the targeted high-risk group for getting this vaccine, it is suggested that you consider this protection because of residence hall living. Typically the flu season peaks around finals in the fall semester and mid-term during the spring semester which are definitely times during your college career you will want to be well.

The regular flu vaccine contains killed influenza virus of the types selected by the U.S. Public Health Service and the Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The types or strains of virus included are those which have most recently been causing influenza. The vaccine will not give you flu because it is a killed virus vaccine. As with any vaccine, flu vaccine may not protect 100% of all susceptible individuals.

The vaccine is strongly recommended for those with diabetes mellitus, chronic renal disease, chronic metabolic disease and those on aspirin therapy. The "Flu Clinic" will be held from mid October through mid November and the vaccine is free for registered SUNY Oneonta students. Information will be advertised in the State Times and on WONY. If you have questions on whether you should receive this injection, please call Studen tHealth Services at (607) 436-3573, and speak with one of the health care providers.


Meningitis Vaccination

Meningitis is an infection that can lead to a dangerous swelling of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The disease can be caused by either viruses or bacteria. Viral meningitis is the more common form of the disease and is usually not as serious as bacterial meningitis. Patients usually get better with minimal treatment. Bacterial meningitis can lead to permanent disabilities such as hearing loss, brain damage, or seizures, and rarely death.

College students have a greater risk of Meningococcal infection because of activities that are often a part of college life such as smoking, being around someone who smokes, going out to bars, drinking alcohol and living in a residence hall. The infection is easily spread through direct contact with oral secretions like coughing, sharing utensils or drinks, and kissing. Since the early 1990's there has been an increase in meningitis outbreaks in the U.S. Meningitis vaccination can protect against the most common strains of bacterial infections A, C, Y, & W-135.

For students who are about to start college and got their first dose more than 5 years ago, it is recommended that these students receive a booster dose. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) suggests that students receive the vaccine less than 5 years before starting school.

Effective 8/15/2003, in compliance with NYSPHL 2167, SUNY Oneonta is required to maintain a record of the following for each student, living on and off campus:

  • A response to receipt of meningococcal disease and vaccine information signed by the student or student’s parent or guardian.
  • AND EITHER
  • A record of meningococcal meningitis immunization within the last 10 years
  • OR
  • An acknowledgement of meningococcal disease risks and refusal of meningococcal meningitis immunization signed by the student or student’s parent or guardian.

Talk with your doctor, pediatrician, or a Student Health Services provider if you have a question or concern regarding this vaccination.

The vaccine is available through a public health clinic at a lower cost. Check with your health insurance policy - it may cover the cost of pre college immunizations.


Varicella Vaccine (Chicken Pox)

If you have not had chicken pox, it is recommended by the Center for Disease Control that you receive this vaccine while attending college. If you contract a case of Chicken Pox during your college attendance, it will be necessary to quarantine you while you are contagious to prevent spreading Chicken Pox to other students. This means you will have to leave campus and not be able to return for any reason for 7 to 14 days.


Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine

The Health Center recommends three or more doses, with the most recent dose within 10 years prior to entry to college. The Student Health Services will administer Diphteria and Tetanus Toxoid to complete a student's Health Report, or to update immunizations for overseas travel at no charge. Also, if you are seen at the Student Health Services for an injury that places you at risk for contracting Diphteria and/or Tetanus, this vaccine will be available for you at no charge.


Polio Vaccine

The Health Center recommends a minimum of 3 doses for all students 18 or under. For those 19 or over, the college would like a record of previous doses, but no additional doses are necessary. It is important that you specify whether the doses were administered as oral (OPV) or injected (IPV).

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine

All students born on or after January 1, 1957, must include documented proof of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella as required by New York State Public Health Law 2165. This is mandatory and is a condition of subsequent registration. A hold will be placed on your ability to register for the next semester is you have not complied with this requirement. The hold will be removed by Student Health Services when you have shown proof of immunity, or receive two MMR vaccine injections. The first vaccine must have been received after your first birthday.

If you need to receive one or both of these injections, they can be administered to you at Student Health Services at cost, or by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). At the NYSDOH there may be a charge for this service, unless you are on Medicaide.

If you know you have received two MMR vaccines before, but have no documented proof, the Student Health Services can order a laboratory blood test that will show your immunity. The blood can be drawn at Student Health Services.


Tuberculin Skin Test (TB Test):

TB is a bacterial lung infection contracted from prolonged exposure to someone who has TB. TB is a disease that has been making a comeback in frequency in the last few years. Last year there were more than 4,500 new cases of TB disease in New York State. Some of the new strains of TB are resistent to drugs and hard to treat.

The Tuberculin Skin Test is not an immunization or a vaccine although it is often confused with one. This is a skin test that is used to screen people for a tuberculosis infection (TB). You can receive a TB Mantoux test at the Health Center free of charge. All international students are required to come to the Health Center and receive a tuberculosis skin test and/or chest Xray to assess them for tuberculosis.

The Tuberculin Mantoux Test is a simple skin test. A positive test means that the person has been infected with TB. It does not necessarily mean that the person has TB disease. People with a positive test are not sick and cannot spread the disease to anyone else. Only people sick with TB disease can spread it to others.

If you have a positive Mantoux skin test, you will probably need to have a chest X-ray to rule out active disease and, depending on the individual circumstance, you may need to be treated prophylactically for a few months so you will not develop the disease. Some people from countries where TB is more common always have a positive skin test, even when they do not have the disease. Each person with a positive Mantoux test is evaluated individually.