college-vaccines-q-and-a-afc-urgent-care-danburyHave a child on their way to college? College opens up a new world of opportunity, and a new world of risks. Communal living spaces, less-than-sanitary conditions, and irregular sleeping habits all can leave students vulnerable to disease.

That’s why prevention is key, and vaccines are now being required for incoming freshman, especially if they plan on living in the dormitories. Let’s talk about the most important vaccines , and answer some of the biggest questions you or an independent college student may have about vaccine requirements for incoming freshmen:

College vaccines Q and A: Your top questions answered

What are the top vaccines that college students need?

Each patient will have a different situation, and their medical records can bring them up to date. The 2 most important, 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

I have no idea what shots I got when I was a kid. My parents took care of all of that. What do I need to do — call my pediatrician back home?

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.

I’m underage. Do I need parental permission to get vaccinated?

Parental consent is required in all states.

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

It depends on the school. Students should 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.

Will I have a bad reaction in the hours or days after vaccination?

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.

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 Danbury we are equipped 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, be sure to bring that as well.

Visit us, no appointment necessary, at either 2 Main Street,  100 Mill Plain Road or our newest Danbury location: 76 Newtown Road.

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