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Meningococcal Vaccination for Students Going Abroad

When planning for further studies, it is essential to checklist all the important requirements. Besides documentation, several colleges and universities require immunisation records against infectious diseases for the safety of their students. Some universities have policies requiring meningococcal vaccination before students start their classes.

What Are the Risks Associated With Children and Young Adults Moving to Foreign Locations?

Children who travel to different cities or abroad to study may be at risk of being exposed to several infections and diseases. Seasonal influenza, persistent diarrhoea, meningitis, respiratory infections, cough and cold, fever, etc., are some common travel-related illnesses that children and adults are susceptible to.

The reason can be anything from lack of hygiene and variations in temperature to endemic areas where infections are higher.

How Does the Meningococcal Disease Affect?

Meningococcal Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges lining the brain and the spinal cord by the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. The transmission of the bacteria is through person-to-person contact through coughing, sneezing or throat secretions.
Once the bacteria enter an individual’s bloodstream, it is carried to the central nervous system (CNS). In the CNS, the bacteria multiply rapidly, infect the cerebrospinal fluid and cause inflammation of the meninges.

The illness is severe and can cause long-lasting complications in young children, such as hearing and vision loss, pneumonia, cognitive disabilities, and sepsis. Vaccination against meningococcal disease is one of the best defences, in addition to together preventive measures suggested below. Please consult your paediatrician for more information.

How Can Children Be Protected Against This Disease?

The majority of data from the USA & Europe suggest that university students studying across are one of the highest carriers of meningococcal disease. Young adults & adolescents travelling in crowded places such as school transport or gathering in college residence halls and social venues are susceptible to contracting this disease. Meningococcal vaccination is recommended for students studying abroad, during an outbreak, for travellers to Hajj, Sub-Saharan Africa and in certain high-risk individuals.

Please consult your doctor for more information.

What Type of Meningococcal Vaccination Should One Consider?

Since students entering college or university come under a high-risk group of individuals, even health experts recommend the quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) for children 19 through 21 years of age.

Colleges of different countries have different vaccination requirements and may ask for meningococcal vaccinations. Hence, it is essential to check with the university authorities about the provision of vaccinations before planning for one.

Where Can One Get Meningococcal Vaccination?

Meningococcal vaccination is available at different healthcare facilities and hospitals across the country. For more information, please consult your doctor.

Are There Any Side Effects of Meningococcal Vaccination?

The meningococcal vaccine is generally well-tolerated. Some may experience temporary and mild side effects, such as redness or soreness at the injection site, that usually go away in a day or two. Other side effects may include fever and headache.

When you are away from your home, sickness can take a toll on you. Hence, health issues should not be neglected. Always take precautionary measures to prevent any illness, such as maintaining proper hygiene, washing hands with soap and water, avoiding sick people and crowds, and ensuring timely vaccination. Please consult your doctor for more information, and click here to know more.

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Issued in public interest by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India.

Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only. Nothing contained in this material constitutes medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical queries, any question or concern you may have regarding your condition. The disease list indicated for vaccination is not complete, please consult your doctor for the complete vaccination schedule.
NP-IN-MNV-OGM-220006, DoP Oct 2022

Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children Aged 0 through 18 years – India, 2013 and Updates on Immunization (

This post was last modified on October 29, 2022 7:14 pm

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