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Information for the Campus Community

Last update: March 23, 2016

In early February 2015, two cases of meningococcal meningitis were confirmed on the Providence College campus. Both cases were identified as the Serogroup B strain. On February 8, 2015, the College held a vaccination clinic to administer the first dose of the vaccine to protect against the Group B strain of meningitis. Further details on the clinics can be found below.

Providence College Vaccination Clinics

Providence College held vaccination clinics for the first dose of the vaccine to protect against the Group B strain of meningitis the week of February 8, 2015, clinics for the second dose the week of April 12, 2015, and clinics for the third and final dose the weeks of August 30 and September 6, 2015.

As a precautionary measure, the College held a vaccination clinic to administer the first dose of the serogroup B vaccine to the Class of 2019 on Sunday, August 30, 2015, a clinic for the second dose on Saturday, November 14, 2015, and a clinic for the third and final dose the week of March 20, 2016.

For any first year, returning, graduate or transfer student who did not receive the full vaccination series, please contact the Student Health Center for information about how to begin or continue the three-dose regimen in order to be fully protected.  Eligible graduate students are those who are either living or working on campus, any graduate student who is intimately involved in a relationship with an undergraduate student OR a graduate student without a spleen or who is immunocompromised.  The vaccine is licensed for people ages 10-25.

Graduates from the Class of 2015 who did not complete the vaccination series and are interested in coming to campus to receive their final shots should contact the Student Health Center for more information.

Important Information Needed for the Clinics

Please be aware that there are TWO different meningitis vaccine series:

  • Vaccine for serogroups A, C, Y, and W-135 (brand names Menactra and Menomune).  This vaccine is required of all entering students.  Many students receive a booster for this vaccine prior to attending college.
    • If you received the Menactra or Menomune vaccine, they do NOT protect you against serogroup B – the outbreak strain we had on campus.  In order to be protected, students require the specific serogroup B vaccine.
  • Vaccine for serogroup B (brand names Trumenba and Bexsero).  The College administers the Trumenba vaccine at the on-campus clinics, which covers the outbreak strain we had on campus last semester.
    • If you already received a serogroup B vaccine, it is IMPERATIVE that you confirm which brand name you received.  Trumenba and Bexsero CANNOT be interchanged

The medical information card that students complete at the clinic has a section that asks about prior serogroup B immunizations.  The exact questions are listed below.  If this is a student’s first dose, he/she should consult with their primary care physician prior to attending the clinic to ensure they are able to answer “yes” or “no” to these questions.

  • Have you ever received a vaccine for serogroup B meningitis?  Select one – Yes/No/Don’t Know
    • If yes, which of the following?
      • Trumenba: Yes/No/Don’t Know
      • Bexsero: Yes/No/Don’t Know

Students that are under 18 will need a parent/guardian signature on their form.  Please download the form below, and email to the Director of the Student Health Center, Kathy Kelleher at  Forms can also be faxed to the Student Health Center: (401) 865-2809, or students can bring a printed copy to the clinic.

Ongoing Prevention

This bacterial infection is spread through direct secretions from the nose or mouth through activities such as kissing; or sharing food, drinks, water bottles, toothbrushes, eating utensils, smoking materials, cosmetics, and lip balms.  A person can be a carrier of meningitis without any symptoms.  In addition, you may become ill with meningitis even if you have not been in contact with someone who is sick.  While this is not an exhaustive list, the following precautions are recommended by HEALTH:

  • Don’t share food, drinks, smoking materials, eating utensils, cosmetics or lip balm
  • Always cough into a sleeve or tissue
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Use hand sanitizer often
  • Don’t drink from a common source such as a punch bowl

Meningitis may present as sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. It will often have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and altered mental status and/or a skin rash. The symptoms of bacterial meningitis can appear quickly or over several days. Typically they develop within 3-7 days of exposure.  If you or a close contact become sick:

  • Students should immediately report to or call the Student Health Center (401.865.2422).  If the Student Health Center is not open, call Safety & Security (401.865.2391) for treatment from the on-call EMTs.
  • Anyone with a high fever should seek medical attention immediately
  • If you see vomit anywhere, do not attempt to clean it up yourself.  Please report it to the Office of Safety & Security (401.865.2391).  They will arrange to have it cleaned.