college-freshman-vaccinationsIt’s that time of year again, and for many who are off to college for the first time, it’s a time of brand new opportunities, alongside a new world of risks. As a parent you’ve been preparing for this day for 18 years, but the truth is, there are so many details you weren’t aware of until now, not the least of them, communal living spaces, less-than-sanitary conditions, new and often poor eating habits, and irregular sleeping patterns, all of which can leave students vulnerable to disease.

That’s why prevention is key, and important vaccines are now required for incoming freshman, especially if they plan on living in the dormitories. We’ll review the most important vaccines , and answer the 5 biggest questions you or your independent college student may have about vaccine requirements for incoming freshmen:

College Freshman vaccinations: Top 5 questions answered

1. What are the top vaccines that most college students need?

Each patient has a different situation, depending on their medical history. Their immunization records can bring the provider up to date. The 2 most important vaccines on most college campuses are meningitis and hepatitis B. Almost every college requires or strongly recommends students be vaccinated for meningitis, especially if they plan to live in the dorms. Close quarters make it easier for bacteria to spread.

Hepatitis B is a blood-borne infection, but can also be transmitted through sexual activity. The disease can have long-term liver consequences. The hepatitis B vaccine is a three-dose series, and might be among the safest vaccines ever made.

2.  I don’t know what shots I got when I was a kid. My parents took care of all of that. What do I need to do ?

The majority of colleges send you a health form to fill out before you go. That’s your opportunity to visit your pediatrician and talk about your immunization record. But of course, you can always contact your doctor any time with questions. They are aware of the requirements and are usually stocked with the appropriate vaccinations.

The other common ones prescribed are the combined tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine.

3.  Does my college’s student health center provide these college vaccinations?

every college is different. Have your student check into whether it is provided and whether the cost is covered. Most likely that will be outlined in the freshman orientation information packet, or is a simple call to the campus health center.

4.  Will I have a bad reaction after the vaccinations?

If you do, it won’t be serious or long lasting.  People might tell you to call back if you run a fever, but on the whole these are very safe vaccines, and all are FDA approved.

5.  I’m not 18 yet. Do I need my parents permission to get vaccinated?

Yes. If you are a minor, parental consent is required in all states.

Do you have a college freshman preparing to leave for school? Make sure they’re up to date with their college vaccines. At AFC Urgent Care West Hartford we are armed with all the vaccines and will make sure your college student is ready to go. If they can get a hold of their vaccination records prior to walking in, that is always helpful and will save time, and if they have the college paperwork with the specific requirements, be sure to bring that as well.

We are here for you, going beyond urgent care.

AFC Urgent Care West Hartford: 1030 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT. Questions? Contact us