Vaccinations that you need before going to college

Many colleges have specific vaccine requirements and mandate participation in vaccination programs to ensure the safety of their students. Here are some vaccines you may need before starting college:

  1. Meningococcal conjugate vaccine: Meningococcal disease, which can lead to meningitis, poses a risk, particularly in communal living environments like dormitories. Some colleges require students to receive this vaccine before enrollment.
  2. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: HPV is transmitted through sexual activity and can cause cervical cancer in women. While typically administered to children aged 11 to 12, it’s advisable for individuals under 27 (women) and 22 (men) who missed the vaccine during their pre-teen years to get vaccinated before college.
  3. Whooping cough vaccine booster (Tdap): Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough, is usually given to children aged 11 to 12. If you missed this vaccine during childhood, it’s recommended to receive it before starting college to prevent these contagious diseases.
  4. Seasonal influenza vaccine: The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone except infants. In college settings, seasonal flu can spread rapidly, leading to missed classes and lectures. Getting vaccinated in late summer or early fall can protect you from the flu during the academic year.

Remember to consult your doctor to ensure you’re up to date with all necessary vaccines as you prepare for college.