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College Vaccines

By Maggie Hall

January 06, 2017


Heading to college is a major life event for young people, especially if higher learning also involves dorm life far from home. Before packing suitcases, books and bedding, parents should make sure their child’s vaccines are updated.

Colleges and universities may require that students in dorm settings receive the meningococcal conjugate vaccine or a booster if they have already received the vaccine before they turned 16. Even if the vaccine to prevent meningitis—a swelling of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord caused by bacteria—isn’t required, it’s recommended for the student’s health.

Check with the student’s institution of choice for vaccine requirements to be met before he or she is allowed to register for classes.

Your child’s university may also require an MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) and a Tdap vaccine for protection against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough. Ask your physician for his or her recommendations for other vaccines needed to safeguard the student’s health, including the flu vaccine, Meningococcal B vaccine and the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine that protects young men and women from many forms of cancer. For information about DOH-Pinellas, go to or follow us on Twitter @HealthyPinellas.

About the Florida Department of Health The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit