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SDSU to Require menB Vaccine for all Incoming Students Effective Fall 2019

The requirement supersedes new California State University (CSU) immunization policies.
By SDSU News Team

Beginning fall 2019, all regularly enrolled incoming San Diego State University students will be required to receive the full meningococcal B (menB) vaccine series prior to the start of the fall semester. The change in policy affects only new, incoming students to the university.

Following three confirmed cases of meningococcal serogroup B at SDSU during the 2018-19 academic year -- prompting health officials to declare an outbreak -- SDSU moved to make the menB vaccine a required immunization. 

The decision supersedes new California State University (CSU) immunization policies by rolling out the complete set of immunization requirements one full year earlier and making menB a required vaccine, as opposed to a recommended one. The requirements for immunizations, per CSU Executive Order, are meant to serve as a minimum threshold for all CSU campuses. These requirements will be reviewed annually and updated accordingly.

At SDSU, students will be required to present proof of immunizations by the schedule adjustment deadline, which is the 10th day of classes in their first semester. A class registration hold will be placed on the accounts of those who do not provide proof of immunization. 

Per new revisions to CSU Executive Order (EO) 803, which will go into effect fall 2020, all new, incoming students will be required to receive the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), Hepatitis B (HepB), Varicella (Chickenpox), Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap), meningococcal disease (Serogroups A, C , Y, W-135) vaccines and the Tuberculosis Screening (TB). Prior to the new policy, both the MMR and HepB vaccines were the only two required immunizations. 

“As we became aware of the immunization conversations occurring at the CSU level, it was important for us to make the menB vaccine a required immunization given our ongoing meningococcal serogroup B outbreak, but more importantly, for the overall health and safety of our campus community,” said Andrea Dooley, associate vice president for Student Affairs. 

New, incoming SDSU students were made aware of the immunization requirements through university communications when receiving confirmation of their admission to SDSU. Moreover, students will continue to receive a series of reminders about the immunization requirements. The first email was sent in mid-May. The new immunization requirements are also posted to the Student Health Services website

“We support San Diego State University’s decision to make it a requirement,” said Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director of the Epidemiology and Immunization Branch at the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). “It’s a very prudent requirement for incoming students because it would help to prevent them from getting the disease.”

Since fall 2018, in response to the meningococcal cases and in partnership with the County of San Diego HHSA, the university has continued to strongly urge all undergraduate SDSU students 23 years of age or younger, who have not yet been fully vaccinated for serogroup B meningococcal disease to receive one of the menB vaccines, Bexsero or Trumenba. 

As part of these coordinated efforts, a series of clinics were held throughout the academic year. To date, nearly 9,000 students have been vaccinated against meningococcal serogroup B.