Campus health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that UW-Madison undergraduate students become vaccinated against meningococcal disease serogroup B.
Two students were sickened with meningitis last week, University Health Services said. It was confirmed earlier this week that both students had a form of the disease that most young people did not receive vaccinations for because the vaccinations only recently were made available.
In a news release Friday, UHS said it will offer the serogroup B vaccine free to students beginning Thursday.
The university said students can get vaccinated at the Southeast Recreational Facility on West Dayton Street:
- Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Thursday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
UHS director of medical services Dr. William Kinsey said that in order to be effective, the serogroup B, or Bexsero, vaccine requires a two doses; the second given a month after the initial dose.
"This recommendation is the best approach to protect students who are at risk for contracting serogroup B," Kinsey said in a statement. "We want every UW-Madison undergraduate to be immunized."
Type B meningococcal disease has been linked to outbreaks on at least six college campuses across the country since 2013, including a death at UW-Madison in 2013, the AP reported.
University health officials said meningococcal bacteria are spread through close contact with an infected person's oral or nasal secretions, such as by sharing cups. Kinsey said the university is encouraging students to limit the spread of respiratory illness by not sharing cups, glasses or other items.
Most students are immunized against serogroups ACYW.
University health officials said both students are recovering.