Updated March 27, 2019

Key Points

  • Serogroup B meningococcal disease, sometimes referred to as “meningitis B”, can be deadly within hours or days of getting sick. It can also lead to severe disabilities, such as loss of limbs.
  • The meningitis B vaccine is different than the “ACWY” meningitis vaccine (such as Menveo® and Menactra®). The “ACWY” meningitis vaccine does not protect against the bacteria which causes meningitis B.
  • All Rutgers University–New Brunswick undergraduate students are strongly recommended to receive the meningitis B vaccine.
  • Students can be vaccinated at many NJ pharmacies, their local healthcare provider, or through Rutgers Student Health. Make sure to bring your insurance card and prescription card with you.

In response to the recent serogroup B meningococcal infections in two undergraduate students, all Rutgers University–New Brunswick undergraduate students, regardless of whether or not they live in campus housing, are strongly recommended to be fully vaccinated against serogroup B meningococcal (MenB).

The MenB vaccination recommendations are in addition to the standard immunization requirements for Rutgers University. The required vaccine for residential students only protects against serogroups A, C, W, and Y. It does not protect against serogroup B, which is the type that caused the infections on the Rutgers University–New Brunswick campus.

Meningococcal disease is not spread by casual contact, such as being in a classroom or house with an infected person or sharing a bus with an infected person. Meningococcal bacteria are spread from person-to-person through the exchange of saliva (spit), coughs, and sneezes. You must be in direct (close) or lengthy contact with an infected person’s secretions to be exposed (e.g., kissing, sharing eating utensils, sharing water bottles, sharing smoking materials such as cigarettes and vaping materials).

In addition to all Rutgers University–New Brunswick undergraduate students, the following populations are recommended to be fully vaccinated:

  • Graduate students who live in undergraduate residence halls.
  • Members of the Rutgers University–New Brunswick community with medical conditions that put them at increased risk for meningococcal disease. These conditions include functional and anatomic asplenia (including sickle cell disease), persistent complement component deficiencies (C3, C5-C9, properdin, factor H, factor D), and taking Soliris® for treatment of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) or paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).
  • Microbiologists who are routinely exposed to the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease, Neisseria meningitidis.

All other Rutgers University–New Brunswick graduate students, faculty, staff, and visitors are not considered at increased risk for meningococcal disease and therefore are not recommended to receive a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine due to the occurrence of cases at the Rutgers University–New Brunswick campus.

About the Serogroup B Meningococcal (MenB) Vaccine

The MenB vaccine is different than the meningococcal vaccine required of all students in University housing. The required vaccine for residential students only protects against serogroups A, C, W, and Y. It does not protect against serogroup B, which is the type that caused the infections on the Rutgers University–New Brunswick campus..

There are currently two licensed vaccines that protect against serogroup B meningococcal disease. The recommended schedule depends on which vaccine you get. You must use the same vaccine for all doses of the vaccination series.

  • Bexsero® is given as two doses, at least one month apart.
  • Trumenba®, in an outbreak setting, is given as three doses, with the second dose two months after the first and the third dose six months after the first.

Vaccination Verification

After each dose is received, upload the signed verification form to the Rutgers Immunization Portal, https://rutgers.medicatconnect.com, AND enter the dates of vaccination.

 

Click here for vaccination recommendations.

Click here for the vaccination verification form (PDF).

Click here to go to the Rutgers Immunization Portal.