Meningitis shots being required at OHS



The meningococcal vaccine and booster is required for all seniors to take

Ruby Garza, Writer

On July 21, a letter was sent out to families letting them know that seniors needed to have their second meningitis shot in order to attend school. The district reminded families that if seniors did not have their meningitis shot by October 15, they would be sent home and restricted from attending until they become fully vaccinated. Meningitis is a bacterial disease that causes inflammation and swelling of the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

Meningitis is a harmful disease that should be taken seriously. OHS nurse, Ms. Annette Hanson said, “Meningitis spreads very quickly in enclosed and populated areas. Meningitis is a communicable disease. It would be very deadly if someone got it and spread it around school. Which is why it’s important to get vaccinated.” Since OHS is a populated building, it would only make a meningitis outbreak worse, which is why nurses are urging families to get their kids vaccinated. 

It was made known to families in June 2021 that if seniors in the Class of 2022 were not vaccinated by October, then they would be sent home and restricted from school. To be clear: it is required by the state that students get their meningococcal shot and a booster between the time they are in seventh grade to seniors. The only time a student would be exempt from getting the vaccine is if they had a health problem that would permit them from not taking it, such as being allergic to the contents of the vaccine. If students were not able to get the vaccine for a health reason, they would have to fill out a form depicting their reasons why. 

Many students have already been vaccinated against meningitis, such as senior Anora Vang. Vang, among other students, had gotten vaccinated against meningitis earlier this year. Vang said, “It didn’t really affect me because I was already vaccinated, but one of my friends got sent home.” The event did not affect many students, as many of them had gotten their shots between middle school to now. Students who had not been vaccinated when the email was sent, were able to make an appointment and get their vaccine in time. 

This event is a yearly occurrence, but with COVID-19 still around, it is urgent that students get vaccinated so that the school doesn’t have to face multiple viruses at once. So far due to students and families compliancy only around 70 students have been sent home and there has not been any news on major outbreaks in the school.