August 18th, 2011
05:08 PM ET

The vaccines your college freshman needs

Most parents know what vaccines their children need and at what age they should receive them, but they may not realize that their college-bound offspring need specific inoculations too.

Each state has different vaccination requirements for students, so if your child is going to an out-of-state school, he or she may be missing a few required vaccines. Most colleges require measles, mumps and rubella varicella, which is chickenpox or proof of having had the disease, hepatitis B, and a tetanus booster, which is  necessary only if it's been 10 years since your last shot.

All of us should make sure we're  properly vaccinated,  but it is especially important for college students. They live close together in dorms or in campus apartments and it's very common for them to share bathrooms, showers, drinks and even towels.

"When you're in close environments, classrooms, working out at the campus recreation centers, living in dorms, you're more likely to come into contact with other people who are ill. The vaccines that we give can help prevent an overall outbreak," says Dr. Maureen Olson, medical director of Student Health Services at Georgia Tech.

Because  freshmen can have a tough time adjusting to their new independent lives at college, Olson strongly urges these students to get all their vaccinations on time to reduce the risk of getting sick, an event that could add unnecessary stress.

In addition to required vaccines for college, other vaccines recommended in some cases for college-bound kids include shots to prevent pneumonia, human papillomavirus, hepatitis A, and meningitis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, college freshmen, especially those who live in dormitories, are at an increased risk for contracting bacterial meningitis. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and an altered mental status, which may just sound like a bad hangover, but these actually are signs of a serious illness.

Both bacterial and viral meningitis are contagious and can easily spread to those around you, so it is smart to abstain from sharing drinks, kissing, and coming into direct contact with a lot of people. Since 2009, 34 states have passed laws requiring colleges to inform students of the risks and warning signs of this disease and 15 states have actually mandated that students be vaccinated.

Practicing healthy habits such as hand washing, cleaning contaminated surfaces with soap and water, and refraining from sharing drinks, utensils or lipstick also will reduce health risks.

However, if a student does become sick, it is equally important to prevent the spread of illness to classmates.

First, if you feel sick, don't go to class. Instead, call your student health center so you can see a doctor and start taking medication. If you have flu, for example, the doctor will probably recommend that you stay in your room until the fever has subsided, usually within 24 hours.

Even though you may be feeling better, it is imperative that you continue to cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and most important, get plenty of sleep, fluids, and nutritious food.

The CDC offers helpful tips on staying happy and healthy while away from home.

soundoff (381 Responses)
  1. Egr Def Repair Mercedes Sprinter


    May 13, 2021 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. dashboard restoration near me

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Thanks for supplying these details.


    May 13, 2021 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. custom rv painting


    May 13, 2021 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Sprinter Van Repair Shops


    May 14, 2021 at 01:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. rv collision repair near me


    May 14, 2021 at 06:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Repair Service

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always helpful to read articles from other writers and practice something from their web sites.


    May 14, 2021 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv restoration companies near me


    May 14, 2021 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. rv renovation companies

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!


    May 14, 2021 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Maserati Gif


    May 14, 2021 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Maserati California

    This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Kudos!


    May 15, 2021 at 00:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. realtor coeur d alene


    May 15, 2021 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. aftermarket body shop near me


    May 15, 2021 at 04:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. rv repair riverside ca

    Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the issues. It was truly informative. Your site is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!


    May 15, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Eye Center Near Me

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I really hope to view the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal website now 😉


    May 15, 2021 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. property for sale coeur d alene idaho

    Having read this I believed it was really enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 15, 2021 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Rent A Maserati

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Thanks a lot!


    May 15, 2021 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Content Marketing Quotes

    Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to return once again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    May 15, 2021 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Content Marketing Mentor


    May 16, 2021 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Aika Pran

    Hi, I do think this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit once again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    May 16, 2021 at 06:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. aika online gameplay


    May 16, 2021 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. rv repair shops


    May 16, 2021 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. aika private server english


    May 16, 2021 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Fiberglass Van Roof Repair


    May 16, 2021 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Sprinter Van Ecu Repair


    May 16, 2021 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Sprinter Service


    May 17, 2021 at 00:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Ford Connect Van Floor Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mercedes Sprinter Cowel Panel Rust Repair

    I absolutely love your site.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my own personal site and want to find out where you got this from or what the theme is named. Thanks!


    May 17, 2021 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Mb Sprinter Blind Spot Detection Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Dry Van Trailer Repair

    bookmarked!!, I like your site!


    May 17, 2021 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. 2005 Dodge Sprinter 2500 A/C Heater Controls Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 2016 Maserati Granturismo Interior

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I do think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people don't discuss these subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!


    May 17, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Van Sliding Door Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Slide Out California

    There's certainly a lot to know about this issue. I love all of the points you made.


    May 17, 2021 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. rv fridge repair near me

    Aw, this was a very nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a really good article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and don't seem to get anything done.


    May 18, 2021 at 07:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. what does hairdressing term dogear mean?


    May 18, 2021 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Family Dentistry Clinic


    May 18, 2021 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. auto air conditioning recharge near me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the website is extremely good.


    May 18, 2021 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. confidence group


    May 18, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Content Marketing Firm

    You have made some decent points there. I looked on the net for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    May 18, 2021 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Commercial Roof Company

    I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!


    May 18, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. green tea energy pills


    May 18, 2021 at 22:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Eyeglasses Fast Near Me


    May 19, 2021 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Video Marketing Consultants


    May 19, 2021 at 04:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. gift of time ideas

    Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Thank you for supplying this info.


    May 19, 2021 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Custom Metal Fab Near Me


    May 19, 2021 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Leak Orange County


    May 19, 2021 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. motorhome service near me

    Having read this I believed it was really enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 19, 2021 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Washing Near Me

    Hi there, There's no doubt that your web site may be having browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, excellent website!


    May 19, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Digital Marketing Agencies Near Me

    I really love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my very own blog and would like to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Many thanks!


    May 20, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sprinter Mercedes Service

    This is the right blog for anybody who would like to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that has been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!


    May 20, 2021 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.