Starting next fall both IU and Purdue University will be among the universities requiring incoming students on all campuses to have the meningitis B vaccination.
The new requirement comes into effect after the Indiana General Assembly passed a law in 2017 requiring all universities that have residential living to include the meningitis immunization in their vaccination standards.
Meningitis is an infection of the lining of the brain and the spinal cord, and can also involve blood infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
According to a press release from the Indiana Immunization Coalition — an Indianapolis-based organization dedicated to reducing the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases — 70 percent of meningitis cases in Indiana are caused by meningitis B.
“It is great to see some of the biggest universities in our state lead the way in protecting the health of our young people,” said Lisa Robertson, executive director of the Indiana Immunization Coalition, in a press release. “It is my hope that other universities, big and small, across the state and the country will soon follow suit and require both meningitis vaccines. These diseases can be deadly."
The CDC also reports that meningococcal diseases kill 10 to 15 infected people out of 100. Of those who survive, another 10 to 20 percent suffer severe disabilities. Some disabilities and health issues include: hearing loss, brain damage, kidney damage, amputations or severe scars from skin grafts.
Ball State University has also announced it will be requiring the vaccination for students this fall.
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