Information about Meningococcal Disease and Meningitis Vaccinations

Meningococcal disease, commonly referred to as bacterial meningitis or simply as meningitis, is a rare but sometimes deadly bacterial infection. The disease strikes quickly and has devastating complications, including hearing loss, brain damage, kidney damage or limb amputations.

Of those who contract meningococcal disease, 10 to 15 percent die. Among those who survive, as many as 20 percent live with permanent disabilities. College students living in residence halls have an increased risk of getting meningococcal disease. Vaccination offers the best protection against this potentially deadly disease.

What is the meningitis policy for on-campus housing residents at WSU?

WSU requires all new on-campus housing residents to submit proof of vaccination against meningitis. To meet the vaccination requirement, you must have at least one dose of meningitis vaccine on or after your 16th birthday.

First-time residents of WSU residence halls can submit copies of their official vaccination records to any of the following:

- Student Health Services, located in 209 Ahlberg Hall
- The main desk at Shocker Hall or Fairmount Towers
- Fax to 316-978-3517
- Mail to Student Health Services, 1845 Fairmount St, Box 92, Wichita, KS 67260-0092
- Email to student.health@wichita.edu

Please note, immunization data entered into the myShockerHealth portal by students is considered unverified until we have received documentation of your immunization records.

Waiver Option
There is a waiver option for those with medical, religious or other exemptions pertaining to immunizations. Please contact Student Health Services at 316-978-3620 for information on how to request a waiver form.

Where can I get a meningitis vaccination?

Meningococcal vaccinations are covered under most health insurance plans and should be provided at little to no expense.

If you have health insurance through United Healthcare Student Resources (UHCSR), you can receive the vaccine at Student Health Services for no cost.

If you do not have health insurance or have another type of insurance plan, you may still receive the vaccine at Student Health at our low cost.

Many local walk in clinics carry the vaccine and you may be able to use other insurance plans to help cover the cost of the meningitis vaccine.

If you are having trouble finding a place to receive the vaccination, please contact Student Health Services:

Phone - 316-978-3620
Email - student.health@wichita.edu
myShockerHealth portal - Send a secure message at studenthealth.wichita.edu.

Who is at risk of getting meningococcal disease?

Anyone at any age can get meningococcal disease but some people have a higher risk for the disease.

Due to lifestyle factors, such as crowded living situations, group activities, active or passive smoking, irregular sleep patterns, and sharing personal items, college students living in residence halls are more likely to acquire meningococcal disease than the general college population.

What are the symptoms of meningococcal disease?

Symptoms can include a high fever, headache, a very stiff neck, confusion, rash, nausea, sensitivity to light, vomiting and exhaustion. The disease progresses very rapidly and can easily be misdiagnosed as the flu.

A person may become seriously ill very quickly, so contact your health care provider immediately if you have two or more of these symptoms.

How can I protect myself from getting meningococcal disease?

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent most meningococcal disease.

Other ways to prevent infection include washing your hands often, and avoid sharing silverware, drinking containers, lipstick and smoking materials.