Worth the wait: that is how many students feel about the hours-long lines to get the meningococcal vaccine. This comes after four people at two bay area universities have tested positive for the disease.
One of them, an employee at Argosy University in Alameda, died this week. As of Thursday, two Santa Clara University students were still in the hospital in fair condition, and a third student was home and in good condition.
Friday, Santa Clara Public Health Department officials gave no update on the hospitalized students’ conditions. However, they did say of the three students, two of their meningococcal infections developed into meningitis and one turned into septicemia. All were infected with the Sero-Group B strain.
Not taking any chances, students at Santa Clara University lined up from the library to the Leavey Center for more than two hours today, trying to protect themselves from the potentially deadly strain of the disease.
“I mean, it was pretty terrifying at first, especially not knowing how it spread or anything,” sophomore Stephanie Eramo said.
Eramo says the lines are long, but better than the alternative: “It’s this or meningitis.”
By noon on Friday, university vaccinators had already given out 800 free shots for Men-B, a vaccine many current college students did not receive as kids. Thursday, they doled out about 1,500 vaccines.
With long lines expected again, some students came prepared with blankets, fried chicken and books.
“I did some homework in line,” Nikki Hess said.
“People were playing soccer in line. I saw someone playing hacky sack. Someone brought a dog,” freshman Emily Machado said, explaining students were in good spirits until it got closer to their turns. “The closer you got to the front, the more scared people were. Once you got inside, everyone was kind of anxious about it.”
Some students even skipped class to get the vaccine.
“Well, I didn’t want to not get a vaccine. And, I miss class occasionally so I figured it’d be okay,” sophomore Connor Holltum said.
Santa Clara University officials said any student who wants a vaccine will get one, regardless of whether they made the 6 o’clock deadline on Friday.