RALEIGH, N.C. — For the first time ever, the government may recommend all freshmen living in dorms get the meningitis vaccine.
Officials at Duke Student Health said freshmen living in dorms are six times more likely to get the disease than other students because first-year college students typically live in close quarters with one another.
Duke University, like most Triangle universities, already recommends the shots to students.
Last year, University of North Carolina freshman
received a meningitis shot, but he got the one strain of the disease the shot does not protect against. He is back at school. He is still on heart medication as a result of the meningitis, but his mother says he is doing just fine.
The Centers for Disease Control will study the recommendation and may officially adopt it in March.
A new meningitis vaccine will be available next month. Health officials said it will only protect against four of the five strains of meningitis, but it protects longer -- as long as 8 years. It can also prevent someone from becoming a carrier.