Most vaccines commercially available in the United States are available at the health center. A partial list of available vaccines follows. For more information about specific vaccines or diseases, please visit www.cdc.gov/DiseasesConditions.
During the 2008-2009 academic year, students at Ball State expressed concern about the potential side effects of thimerosal when used in vaccines in general and in flu vaccines in particular. In response, the health center was able to find a source for flu vaccine free of thimerosal. At this time the only vaccine containing thimerosal used in the health center is IPV, or injectable polio vaccine. This vaccine is used by travelers to certain regions outside of the United States under limited circumstances. Fewer than 5 doses are administered in a typical year at the health center.
Gardasil is a vaccination against Human Papillomavirus, the virus responsible for most abnormal Pap smears and most cases of cervical cancer.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver, usually contracted by eating fresh fruits or vegetables which have been contaminated in the field or orchard. It is mainly a concern for travelers outside of the United States, but can certainly occur here as well.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. It can lead to serious illness, liver damage and even death. Most individuals infected with Hepatitis B are adolescents and young adults.
Hepatitis B is transmitted when infected semen, blood or body fluid enters the body of an uninfected person. This usually occurs when a person has sex, shares a needle or syringe while using recreational drugs, or shares a razor or toothbrush with an infected person.
A vaccination is available and consists of a series of three shots given over a 3-6 month period. Many people born in the United States since the early 90s have already received the vaccine.
Influenza is a common illness. Most college-age people who become ill with influenza recover uneventfully, but while they are ill they are often completely unable to attend classes, work, or study. If a student becomes ill at a critical time during the semester such as just before final exams, it can be very disruptive. Students with underlying problems such as asthma or heart disease are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill with influenza. Influenza vaccine is offered to students each year in the fall.
Each year in the fall the health center makes flu vaccine available to students, through routine clinic visits as well as special scheduled clinics designed to make it as easy as possible for students to get the vaccine. The health center will send out email notification to students through the communications center when flu vaccine is available.
Meningococcal meningitis is a rare but potentially dangerous illness which can be caused by either viruses or bacteria. It can lead to dangerous swelling of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Viral meningitis is usually not as serious as the bacterial form, and viral meningitis is the more common of the two. Persons typically recover with minimal treatment. Bacterial meningitis can cause serious illness with possible long-lasting effects on the nervous system, or even death within 48 hours. If caught early, bacterial meningitis is often curable.
Exposure occurs through droplet contamination from the nose or throat of a person with meningococcal disease. This is especially important information to students living in residence halls since exposure can occur more easily. Exposure can also occur through intimate contact such as kissing, sharing beverage containers, cigarettes or eating utensils.
At first, symptoms may be typical of a cold or "flu", but there might then be a rapid progression to the following early warning symptoms:
- Severe Headache
- Stiff Neck
- Extreme fatigue/lethargy
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
Prevention of some types of bacterial meningitis is possible through vaccination. The protection is limited to specific strains of the bacteria. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that students receive information regarding meningococcal disease and the benefits of vaccination. Talk to your health practitioner regarding the pros and cons of this vaccination.
MMR is a combination vaccine containing Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, or German Measles. It is a routine childhood vaccine in the United States and it is required for matriculation to Ball State.
Polio vaccine is not routinely administered to adults in the US. It is advisable prior to travel to certain areas outside of the US.
Rabies vaccine is currently in short supply. It is currently recommended only in special circumstances following potential exposure to rabies, and for certain individuals at high risk of exposure.
Td is a combination vaccine containing Tetanus and Diphtheria. It is a routine childhood vaccine in the United States and it is required for matriculation to Ball State. Recently a new vaccine called TdaP which also contains vaccine against Pertussis has become available. Most adolescents should receive this vaccine, but it is not required for matriculation to Ball State.
Injectible and oral typhoid vaccines are available at the health center. Typhoid vaccine is advisable for travelers to certain locations outside of the United States. Oral vaccine is preferable for most travelers, but must be started at least 7 days before travel.