Immunizations

Immunization are given at Sindecuse Health Center by appointment during regular health center hours. Immunizations protect personal health and the health of the Western Michigan University community. We strongly encourage verification of immunization status for all students entering Western Michigan University. The following adult immunizations are recommended:

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. It is transmitted through contaminated food or water or from close contact with someone who is already infected (but may not have symptoms). Recommendations:

  • Recommended for routine use in all adolescents and adults in a series of 2 doses
  • Students traveling for foreign studies
  • Others with certain chronic diseases

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver that can result in chronic liver disease and liver cancer in about 10 percent of cases. The highest incidence of new cases occurs in the 20 to 29 year old age group. It is transmitted sexually and through blood contact. Recommendations:

  • Required childhood immunization
  • Immunization is accomplished through a series of three doses (0, 1, and 6 months)

Human Papillomavirus

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that affects both females and males to help prevent cervical cancer and genital warts. Recommendations:

  • All females age 13 to 26 years old (three doses at 0, 2, and 6 months) and all males 9 to 26 years old (three doses at 0, 1 and 6 months) who have not received the vaccine
  • No HPV or pap test screening is required prior to administering vaccine; however routine cervical cancer screening should continue according to prior recommendations

Influenza (Seasonal Flu)

Influenza is a virus causing respiratory illness which ranges from mild to severe. Influenza is contagious and is spread mainly by droplets from coughs and sneezes. Recommended:

  • Annually for students who wish to minimize disruption of routine activities
  • College students with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, immune disorders, and heart conditions

In the fall, the health center offers flu vaccine for your protection. Each year's Influenza vaccine contains protection for the virus types most likely to cause respiratory influenza during the coming winter. For more information about when flu vaccine will be available, call (269) 387-3290.

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

Young adults in university settings continue to comprise the majority of individuals susceptible to measles, mumps, rubella (MMR). These infections are highly contagious and may lead to serious, even life-threatening complications. Recommendations:

  • All students should have physician-documented proof of two doses of live measles vaccine. Note: vaccine is combination of measles, mumps & rubella.

No immunization is needed if there has been:

  • Documented physician-diagnosed measles, mumps and rubella
  • Documented laboratory evidence of measles, mumps and rubella immunity
  • Proof of receipt of two doses of live measles vaccine on or after a person’s first birthday

Meningitis

Meningitis is a potentially life-threatening infection of the brain and spinal cord caused by several different types of bacteria. Meningococcal vaccine is effective against some of the bacteria that cause meningitis. Meningococcal bacteria are found in the nasopharynx of about 10 percent of the population and only a small fraction of carriers develop meningitis. Recommendations:

  • The vaccine is available to anyone wishing to decrease his or her risk of infection
  • Living in residence halls may increase risk
  • Anyone who has lost their spleen or its function should have this vaccine
  • Protection lasts approximately five years
  • Revaccination may be recommended at five years if you remain at risk
  • Travelers to areas of the world where meningitis is prevalent

Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal infection can cause serious problems, such as pneumonia, which affect the lungs; meningitis, which affects the brain; bacterium, which is a severe infection in the blood. Recommendations:

  • Young adults with diabetes, heart disease, chronic pulmonary or liver disease
  • Revaccinate every five years for immunodeficiency states, renal failure, those with clotting disorders, HIV, and no spleen

Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis (Whooping Cough) (Tdap)

Tetanus is a serious, potentially fatal disease caused by bacteria that enter the body through wounds. Increasing rate of Pertussis infection of adult population. Recommendations:

  • A tetanus/diphtheria immunization is needed every ten years
  • A tetanus booster may be needed sooner than ten years for a serious or penetrating injury
  • One adult booster of Pertussis (One dose of Tdap replacing one decennial Td booster for all college students, given in combination with tetanus & diphtheria)

Varicella (Chicken Pox)

Varicella is a virus that causes chicken pox in the acute phase. It is highly contagious and spread by respiratory droplets. Transmission occurs until all lesions are crusted over.  Herpes zoster (shingles) is a reactivation of the latent phase that normally occurs in older adults. Recommendations:

  • Those without a past history of the disease or without immunizations are at risk
  • Two doses if over 12 years of age at least four weeks apart

Travel immunizations

The health center offers medical consultation and travel immunizations, including yellow fever, to protect your health during international travel. The service is open to all area residents.