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Oregon State begins offering meningococcal vaccine

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State student health center just received a shipment of the new vaccine intended to prevent the strain of meningococcal bacteria that killed a University of Oregon student-athlete and sickened 3 others.

"Although its not a common disease, it is a very serious disease when people do get ill with it," said Dr. Jeffrey Mull, medical director at the OSU student health center. "Everything in the press, especially about the death of the UO student, definitely brings it to the forefront, and the best way to deal with diseases is to prevent them."

The vaccine requires two doses. It protects against the type b meningococcal bacteria. Vaccines against this strain have only been approved and on the market since October.

"I definitely think it's a smart idea so students have the option because it is scary," said Kelcie Whiting, citing the death of Duck athlete Lauren Jones. "She's exactly like we all are here at college, so it's smart."

Garrett Elzie said he's interested in getting the vaccination.

"It's safety, and I pretty much come down with a lot of things myself, and so I want to stay safe," he said.

That's a philosophy that the university supports.

"We've always known this was a problem with college students," Mull said, "and so we've always encouraged them to get the older vaccine, but have not required it.

The vaccine is not free, but you can talk with the health center to see what your insurance will cover.

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