Updated September 6, 2016

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.
  • Based upon lab testing, the best protection against the specific outbreak strain is expected with the full 3-dose series of the meningitis B vaccine Trumenba®.
  • The meningitis B vaccine is different than the “ACWY” meningitis vaccine typically administered in junior high or high school and required by university housing (such as Menveo® or Menactra®). The meningitis ACWY vaccine does not protect against the bacteria which causes meningitis B.
  • If you previously received or will be receiving the meningitis ACWY vaccine for University housing, the meningitis B vaccine is still required to protect against meningitis B.
  • All Rutgers University–New Brunswick undergraduate students should receive the meningitis B vaccine Trumenba®. This includes all on-campus, off-campus, and commuter undergraduate students.
  • Students can be vaccinated at many NJ pharmacies or at doctors’ offices. Please bring your insurance card and prescription card with you.
  • Action Required: Verification of each meningitis B vaccine dose received or declination is required.

In response to the recent serogroup B meningococcal infections in two students, the New Jersey Department of Health and Rutgers University, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strongly recommend that all incoming and returning Rutgers University–New Brunswick undergraduate students, including transfer students, regardless of whether or not they live in campus housing, receive the serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccine Trumenba® (Pfizer) as soon as possible.

Based upon the lab testing of the serogroup B meningococcal disease detected on campus, the best protection against the specific outbreak strain at Rutgers University–New Brunswick is expected with the full 3-dose series of Trumenba®. Dose two is given 1–2 months after the first dose, and the third dose should be administered 6 months after the first dose.

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 for vaccination:

  • 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 not recommended for vaccination with 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 strain detected on campus in spring 2016. All undergraduate students, regardless of living on or off campus, are recommended to get Trumenba®.

You can get Trumenba® from your health care provider or local pharmacy. To confirm availability, use the vaccine locator through CDC at http://www.vaccines.gov/getting/where/index.html, or call Trumenba® Vaccine Locator Service at 1-800-683-8572. As this has been classified as an outbreak setting, many insurance companies will cover the cost of the vaccine. You can confirm with your insurance company.

Vaccination Verification

All Rutgers University–New Brunswick undergraduate students are required to submit either verification of receiving the vaccine series or sign a declination form containing information about meningococcal disease prevention and vaccination. Verification and other forms can be found here. Completed forms can be returned two ways:

By email: vaccine@rci.rutgers.edu

By mail:
Rutgers University
Attention: Immunizations
57 US Highway 1
New Brunswick, NJ 08901