Based on a strong turnout today, Friday, Nov. 5, at the Colorado State University meningococcal clinic and continued demand for more vaccines, university and health officials are announcing a second clinic.
Students and employees of Colorado State University who are between the ages of 2 and 29 years old and roommates or family who live with them and are within that age group will have a second opportunity to get a free meningococcal disease vaccine from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Student Recreation Center at CSU. Those hours may be extended based registration demand. Online registration for the Thursday clinic is already available at www.safety.colostate.edu.
The clinics are in response to a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommendation that this target group get a meningococcal vaccine if they have not received one within the last three years. The vaccines are being provided by the CDPHE.
“Due to tremendous response from CSU students and employees, we will have today provided free meningococcal vaccines to about 8,000 people, far exceeding our goal of 6,000,” said Anne Hudgens, director of the CSU Health Network. “The clinic is the result of teamwork among CSU, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Larimer County Department of Public Health and the Health District of Northern Colorado. It involved about 330 volunteer workers from 22 different counties.”
Registering will speed up the process significantly, with an estimated average 15 minutes or less from arrival to completed vaccination. Students and employees also can walk in to the clinic and sign up for a vaccination, but might be required to wait longer or return at a later time. During Friday’s clinic, the vaccination process on average took less than ten minutes from the time registered participants entered the building through vaccination completion.
Following CDPHE recommendations, the free vaccine clinic will again be available to anyone 2 to 29 years old who is a:
– CSU student 29 years old or younger;
– CSU employee 29 years old or younger;
– Household member of a CSU student or employee — family members and roommates — who are 2 to 29 years old.
CO HELP, an information resource of the Colorado Department of Public Health, will assist callers by providing information to help answer questions about meningococcal disease. CO HELP also will be able to search the state’s vaccine registry for students and others who want to verify if or when they received their last vaccination. CO HELP is available toll-free at 1-877-462-2911 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., beginning Tuesday through Friday this week. The line also is open on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In late October, the Centers for Disease Control said that immunity provided by the meningococcal vaccine declines over time. After five years, it no longer protects against meningococcal disease. CDPHE is recommending that the CSU target population get vaccine boosters after three years because of the current meningococcal disease outbreak in Larimer County.
College students are at a higher risk of meningococcal disease due to their age and lifestyle, such as living in crowded spaces and being more likely to share food, drinks, smokes and utensils when socializing. Health officials believe that vaccinating persons 29 and younger on campus could help reduce additional cases of meningococcal disease across the Fort Collins community.
Health officials advise people outside the CSU community who want a meningococcal vaccination to check with their physician or pharmacy about the vaccine. According to health officials, meningococcal vaccine is readily available for order from pharmaceutical companies, but local providers’ supply may be temporarily unavailable due to increased demand. The cost for these vaccines is about $125 for the vaccine and administration.
For more information about the CSU clinic or meningococcal disease, visit www.safety.colostate.edu.