Governor Brown lends voice to vaccination efforts

A new public service announcement from Gov. Kate Brown urges undergraduates who have not yet received the first dose of the meningitis B vaccine to get inoculated.

Nearly 10,000 students have received the first dose in a vaccination series, and in her announcement the governor thanks those who have taken the important step to protect their health and the health of the campus community. The message comes as the UO prepares for a second mass-vaccination clinic in May, when the second shot in the three-shot series will be offered., while urging those who are still unvaccinated to take the step toward immunity and get the meningitis B shot.

“We are very thankful for Gov. Brown’s support of our efforts to protect our student body,” said Michael Eyster, executive director of the University Health Center. “I continue to be impressed with the collaboration across public and private organizations that have occurred throughout this process.”

To date, six UO students have fallen ill with the B strain of meningitis, including student-athlete Lauren Jones, who died of the illness in February. The UO has since undertaken a large-scale vaccination campaign working to immunize the 22,000-student undergraduate population. 

Working with private partners and state health agencies, the UO held a four-day, large-scale clinic at Matthew Knight Arena in early March. Additionally, working with state, federal and private partners, the UO secured confirmation that insurance companies will cover the full cost of vaccination.

A contract with Walgreens, Safeway and Albertsons has made it easy and convenient for students to get the meningitis B series through direct billing and no out-of-pocket costs to UO students.

“It was a primary focus of the UO to make sure that all barriers were removed for students interested in receiving the vaccination,” said Andre Le Duc, executive director of emergency management. “In addition to the partnerships with Walgreens, Safeway and Albertsons, the UO has secured donated vaccine at the Health Center for uninsured students.”

Students who received vaccinations at the UO Health Center prior to the large four-day clinic will receive notification directly with information on obtaining the next dose in the series. Students who attended the clinic at Matthew Knight Arena should watch for reminders of second-round clinic May 12-13.

Individuals interested in starting the series are also invited to that clinic to receive their first dose.