Saturday, March 6, 2010

Are you kidding?

Today, I got an e-mail from OU's dean of students, Ryan Lombardi. We have had something like SEVEN cases of meningitis on campus in the past two years, which is a LOT when you think about it. Because of collaboration with the CDC, it's been determined that all of the students who have contracted the illness had the same DNA profile, which makes these cases an outbreak.

Because of this, the university has decided that it will be requiring that all students get the meningitis vaccine starting in fall 2010. All current students will be required to have it and all freshman will be required to have gotten it, if I am understanding the e-mail correctly. This isn't that surprising, though requiring vaccinations always seems to result in a bit of a controversy and I can't wait to see the 'but it's my body and why should I get a shot?!' letters in The Post.

My complaint lies in what this e-mail COMPLETELY LACKED, which was information of where you could get the vaccine in Athens. So, I googled, googled a bit more, and finally tried the university health center's website. I knew that they provided vaccines, but assumed that they didn't provide the meningitis vaccine, since they didn't include a link in the e-mail.

So, I went to:, which I am providing for context. On the left hand side is a menu. I clicked 'health promotion,' which did NOT, in fact, include any information about vaccines that I could find. So I went back to the main page and clicked 'student health services,' scrolled down the un-alphabetized list on the left and chose 'services provided.' A page with a list pops up, un-alphabetized again, and I clicked immunizations (which, okay, guys, pick a word. Are the immunizations or vaccines?). Finally, a list of what vaccines Hudson provides and when you could get them.

That link should have been included in the e-mail, or should be accessible on the front page of Hudson's site. Also, the page should include prices and information on whether or not the university's insurance will pay for any of what they offer. I suspect that is not common knowledge, so it isn't that much of a stretch to feel that our Dean should have provided this information instead of just informing us of what he and the university have determined about these cases.


lynni said...

As a parent who lost a 20 year old son to meningococcal meningitis, I urge all of you who have not been vaccinated, to do so. This is a killer disease. My son was healthy, an honor student, and pitcher on his college baseball team. I did not know there was a vaccine that could have saved his life. Please visit for more information.

Ryan Lombardi said...

Sorry that you weren't pleased with the message Aisha. The vaccine is available at Hudson, and virtually any other medical facility. You should check your insurance coverage to see if it is provided as part of your plan. The county health department also offers the vaccine, for free I believe.

We have been trying to provide as much information as possible. We will be sending more messages on a regular basis that will include more details about how to obtain the vaccine. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to give me a call.

Ryan Lombardi