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Cluster triggers mass Men B vaccinations at OSU

19 Mar 2017

By: Julie Koch, RN, infection prevention manager

We received a Health Alert Network (HAN) message in early March from the State of Oregon regarding serogroup B meningococcal disease.

Last November, Benton County Health Department (BCHD) confirmed two cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease in undergraduate students attending OSU in Corvallis. A third case has been reported by the Oregon State Public Health Lab, now meeting the criteria of an outbreak.

The CDC recommends vaccination for all undergraduate students up to age 25. In particular, OSU students who live in on-campus housing and those who are members of – or who visit – off-campus congregate housing associated with the university are urged to get vaccinated.

  • The two-dose BEXSERO® vaccine was chosen for the OSU clinic. Although this vaccine will be provided there, students may also seek Men B vaccines outside this clinic — so we’re reminding providers of the importance of knowing the brand of the first dose of Men B vaccine provided to patients.
  • The two brands are NOT interchangeable. Bexsero® is a two-dose series, with the second dose given 30 days after the first. Trumenba® requires three doses at zero, one month and six months. (The so-called two-dose regimen for Trumenba is NOT recommended for outbreak response!)
  • Please make sure that when providing Men B vaccines to patients they are fully aware of the importance of knowing brand names, dates and timing of follow-up doses.
  • Likewise, we ask providers to check the ALERT IIS system to check for any Men B vaccination history; and to register any vaccination in ALERT IIS so that records will be available to another provider called upon to vaccinate. Some students may recall vaccination but lack documentation in ALERT IIS — so please ask such students for more information, e.g., dates, brand, and location of vaccination. Questions? Call the ALERT IIS Help Desk at 1-800-980-9431.

Revised standing orders for clinicians and pharmacy protocols are being developed. Providers are also asked to consider meningococcal disease in their differential diagnosis for college students — particularly students with links to OSU — presenting with unexplained high fever, headache, stiff neck, or rash. Please report any suspected cases to your local public health department.

An important reminder: During the March 25 – April 2 spring break, many students will be returning home and could present for care far from Corvallis.

For more information, read the Oregon Health Authority investigative guidelines or call:

Tasha Poissant or Richard Leman in OHA’s Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section at 971.673.1111.

Information about Meningococcal disease can be found at:

Oregon Health Authority:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: