Immunizations are due 30 days from the first day of class.
Immunizations are provided on a walk-in basis. The following are available for an additional charge:
Where can I get copies of my immunization history?
- Your high school guidance center
- Your military service record
- Your county health department
- Your previous college or university
- Your pediatrician or family physician
- Your personal shot record
Specific Vaccination Information
- Flu Vaccination
- Meningitis Vaccination
- Gardasil Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine-Now for Women & Men
- Tetanus Booster
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
Influenza is caused by a virus that spreads from infected persons via the respiratory route (coughing, sneezing). The "influenza season" in the US is from November through April each year. Influenza typically causes:
- fever and chills
- muscle aches
- sore throat, cough
People of any age can get influenza. Most people are mildly ill for three to five days, but some get much sicker and may need to be hospitalized. Influenza causes thousands of deaths each year, mostly among the very young, very old, or immune suppressed persons.
Influenza viruses change often. Influenza vaccine is updated each year to make sure it is effective against current strains. Protection develops about two weeks after getting the shot and lasts a year or longer.
People at risk for getting a serious case of influenza or influenza complications, and people in close contact with at-risk individuals (including household members) should get the vaccine. An annual flu shot is recommended for these groups:
- Persons 50 years of age or older.
- Residents of long-term care facilities.
Anyone who has a serious long-term health problem with:
- heart disease or lung disease
- kidney disease
- metabolic diseases, such as diabetes
- anemia and other blood disorders
Anyone whose immune system is weakened, including those with:
- long-term treatment with drugs such as steroids
- cancer being treated with radiation or chemotherapy
- Anyone 6 months to 18 years of age on long-term aspirin treatment (who could develop Reye's Syndrome if they catch influenza).
- Women who will be past the 3rd month of pregnancy during the influenza season.
- Physicians, nurses, family members, or anyone else coming in close contact with people at risk of serious influenza.
- Others who should consider getting influenza vaccine:
- People who provide essential community services
- Persons traveling to the Southern hemisphere between April & September, or to the tropics at any time
- Persons living in dormitories, barracks, or in other crowded conditions.
- Anyone who wants to reduce the chance of catching influenza
Because influenza activity can start as early as December, the best time to get the influenza vaccine is during October & November. But getting the vaccine after November can still provide protection. A new shot is needed each year. Influenza vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines, including pneumococcal vaccine.
Yes. Influenza viruses change often, and they might not always be covered by the vaccine. Vaccinated people who do get influenza often have a milder case than those who did not get the shot. Also, many people call any illness with fever and cold symptoms "the flu." They may expect influenza vaccine to prevent these illnesses. But influenza vaccine is effective only against illness cause by the influenza viruses, and not against other illnesses.
Talk with a doctor before getting an influenza vaccination if you:
- ever had a serious allergic reaction to eggs or to a previous dose of influenza vaccine
- have a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).
If you have a fever or are severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled, you should wait until you recover before getting influenza vaccine.
A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of a vaccine causing serious harm or death is minimal. The viruses in the vaccine are killed, so you cannot get influenza from the vaccine.
- soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
- fever, aches
- Life-threatening allergic reactions are very rare. If they occur, it is within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot.
- In 1976, swine flu vaccine was associated with a paralytic
illness called Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). Influenza vaccines
since then have not been clearly linked to GBS. However, if there
is a risk of GBS from current influenza vaccines, it is estimated
at 1 or 2 cases per million persons vaccinated... much less than the
risk of severe influenza, which can be prevented by vaccination.
What should I look for?
Signs of serious allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, wheezing or stridor (noise when breathing in), generalized hives, pale/clammy skin, weakness, a fast heart beat, dizziness, high fever, or changes in mental status.
What should I do?
If you suspect a serious reaction, access EMS by calling 911 right away.
When you are stable, let your doctor know what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given. Ask your doctor or county health department to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) form, or call VAERS yourself at 1-800-822-7967.
How can I learn more?1. Ask your doctor or nurse. They can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information. 2. Call your local or state health department. 3. Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov/flu or:
Call 1-800-232-2522 (English)
Call 1-800-232-0233 (Español)
The following information and recommendations are gleaned from the American College Health Association (ACHA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Along with the ACHA and CDC, UNCW Student Health Services encourages all students and parents to learn about meningococcal infection and meningococcal vaccine in order to know more about this disease, and to make an informed decision about receiving the vaccine.
Meningococcal disease is a rare but potentially fatal bacterial infection. The disease causes either a) meningococcal meningitis, an infection of the fluid and membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, or b) meningococcemia, infection in the blood/rest of the body.
Meningococcal disease strikes about 2,000 Americans and causes about 150 to 300 deaths annually. About 100 to 125 cases of meningococcal disease occur annually on college campuses; 5 to 15 students die each year as a result. Perhaps twice as many students (10 to 30) suffer significant long-term disability as a result of meningococcal infection each year. By comparison, about 1,400 college students die each year from alcohol-related injuries (including motor vehicle accidents).
Meningococcal disease is spread through the air by droplets of respiratory secretions (coughing/sneezing) and through direct contact with an infected person. Direct contact is defined mainly as kissing or sharing items such as cigarettes, drinking glasses, or silverware.
The early symptoms of meningococcal disease are similar to those of flu or other viral illnesses. Fever, aches, nausea, mild headache, lack of energy, etc., are typical. Since the symptoms are non-specific, meningococcal disease is difficult to diagnose early. Later symptoms of meningococcal infection include high fever, severe headache, stiff/painful neck, rash, vomiting, and lethargy. Because the disease progresses rapidly, often in as little as 12 hours, students should seek medical care immediately if they experience these symptoms.
Because of the non-specific early symptoms and rapid progression of the disease, health care providers have a healthy respect for (and significant worry about) meningococcal disease.
Infants, adolescents, and older adults are at risk. College students residing on campus in dormitories are likely at higher risk for meningococcal disease. Certain social behaviors, such as exposure to passive and active smoking, bar patronage, and excessive alcohol consumption also put people at increased risk for the disease. Persons with compromised immune systems, and travelers to areas of the world where meningococcal disease is prevalent are also at increased risk.
The ACHA has adopted the CDC recommendation, that all incoming freshman living in dormitories be vaccinated against meningococcal disease to reduce their risk of meningococcal disease. The CDC recommends vaccination for all adolescents at high school entry and during pre-adolescent health care visits (11 to 12 years old). The ACHA further states that other college students under 25 years of age might choose to receive meningococcal vaccination in order to reduce their risk for the disease.
- Entering freshmen college students, especially those living in dormitories or residence halls.
- Students with medical conditions that compromise immunity (HIV, absent spleen, antibody deficiency, long-term steroid therapy, chemotherapy, etc.).
- Students traveling to areas of the world where meningococcal disease is prevalent.
- Undergraduate students, 25 years of age or under, who request vaccination in order to decrease their risk for disease.
- Pregnant females (suggest consulting an ob-gyn doctor prior to vaccination).
- Persons with prior allergy to meningococcal or diphtheria vaccine or latex (not recommended)
- Persons with a bleeding disorder or on anticoagulant medicine (consider risk vs. benefit)
- Persons with current infectious illness/fever (may want to postpone)
No, but the North Carolina General Assembly enacted a law requiring all public and private colleges/universities in NC to provide each student with meningococcal vaccination information.
The meningococcal vaccine has been shown to be 85% to 100% effective against the most common strains of meningococcal disease. Vaccination provides immunity to four strains of meningococcal bacteria that cause 65 to 70 percent of the disease. However, meningococcal vaccine does not protect against all types of meningococcal bacteria, other types of bacterial meningitis, or viral meningitis.
Development of immunity post-vaccination requires 7-10 days. Experts estimate immunity from a single does of the vaccine will last at least 8 years.
The vaccine is very safe. Adverse reactions are mild and infrequent, consisting primarily of redness and pain at the site of injection, typically lasting up to two days.
Headache, chills, fever, and fatigue are uncommon, but sometimes occur. Severe, life-threatening reactions are extremely rare.
Check with your County Health Department or primary care provider. The UNCW Student Health Center offers the vaccine to students. The current cost is $95.
For further information:
CDC website: www.cdec.gov/ncidod/dbmd/disease/sub-meningitis.htm
ACHA website: http://www.acha.org/meningitis
... is a vaccine (injection) that helps protect against cervical cancer in women and genital warts in men and women caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18. Gardasil helps prevent these diseases, but it will not treat them.
t key information about Gardasil should I know?
- Vaccination does not substitute for routine cervical cancer screening. Females who receive Gardasil should continue cervical cancer screening (Pap smears).
- As with all vaccines, Gardasil may not fully protect everyone who gets the vaccine.
- Gardasil will not protect against diseases due to non-vaccine HPV types. There are more than 100 HPV types. Gardasil helps protect against the 4 types that cause about 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts.
- This vaccine will not protect against HPV types to which you may have already been exposed.
- Gardasil works best when given before you have any contact with the 4 types of HPV.
Gardasil is recommended for females 9 through 26 years of age.
- Anyone who is allergic to any of the ingredients in the vaccine (see ingredients below).
- Anyone who has an allergic reaction after getting a dose of the vaccine.
- If you had an allergic reaction to a prior dose of the vaccine.
- If you have a bleeding disorder and cannot receive injections in the muscle.
- If you have a weakened immune system (or example, due to a genetic defect or HIV infection)
- If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Gardasil is not recommended for use in pregnancy.
- If you have any illness with a fever more than 100°F (37.8°C)
Gardasil is given as an injection. You will receive 3 doses of the vaccine. Ideally the second dose is given 2 months after the first dose, and the third dose 6 months after the first dose. Make sure that you get all 3 doses. This allows you to get the full benefits of Gardasil. If you miss a dose, your health care provider will decide when to give the missed dose.
UNCW women and men can receive Gardasil at the Abrons Student Health Center (2nd floor of DePaolo Hall). If an individuals has an off-campus general practitioner and/or gynecologist, contact your provider to find out if he/she provides and administers Gardasil.
Each dose is $140, for a total cost of $420. If you have medical insurance, your insurance carrier might reimburse you for all or part of the cost. Check with your insurance carrier.
Gardasil has been shown to be generally well tolerated. The most commonly reported side effects include pain, swelling, itching, and redness at the injection site, and fever. Difficulty breathing (bronchospasm) has been reported very rarely. If you have any unusual or severe symptoms after receiving Gardasil, contact your health care provider promptly.
The main ingredients are purified, inactive proteins that come from HPV Types 6, 11, 16, and 18. It also contains amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, sodium chloride, L-histidine, polysorbate 80, sodium borate, and water for injection.
Cancer of the cervix is a serious disease that can be life-threatening. This disease is caused by certain HPV types that can cause the cells in the lining of the cervix to change from normal to precancerous. If these areas are not treated, they can turn cancerous. Genital warts are caused by other types of HPV. They often appear as skin-colored growths. They are found on the inside or outside of the external genitals. Human Papillomavirus
HPV is a common virus. In 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 20 million people in the United States had this virus. There are many different types of HPV. Some cause no harm. Others can cause diseases of the genital area. For most people, the virus goes away on its own. When the virus does not go away, it can develop into precancerous lesions, cervical cancer, or genital warts, depending on the HPV type.
In 2005, the CDC estimated that at least 50% of sexually active people catch HPV during their lifetime. A male or female of any age who takes part in any kind of sexual activity that involves genital contact is at risk. Many people who have HPV may not show any signs or symptoms. This means that they can pass on the virus to others and not know it.
You may benefit from Gardasil if you already have HPV. This is because most people are not infected with all four types of HPV contained in the vaccine. In clinical trials, individuals with current or past infection with one or more vaccine-related HPV types prior to vaccination were protected from disease caused by the remaining vaccine HPV types. Gardasil is not intended to be used for treatment for HPV, however.
Stop by the Abrons Student Health Center to talk with a provider or visit www.cdc.gov/hpv.