Meningitis: CDC Update and Second Vaccination Clinic

On Friday, March 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the Smith student hospitalized with bacterial meningitis was infected with serogroup B. While this is the same meningitis serogroup as last fall’s outbreak at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, it is currently not known whether the cases are related.

It is important to note that the college has been proceeding since last Sunday under the assumption that the Smith student was infected with serogroup B bacterial meningitis; the confirmation from the CDC does not change Smith’s plans.

The college has administered more than 700 meningitis B vaccines since the CDC declared an outbreak at the University of Massachusetts last fall, including 400 administered at the Smith College Campus Center on March 1.

In order to continue to provide the entire student body with the opportunity for vaccination, Smith will hold a second student vaccination clinic on Tuesday, March 6, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Unlike the March 1 clinic, Tuesday’s will be by appointment only and held at the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness. Please visit to select a time.

As always, students who wish to be vaccinated outside of the clinic’s hours may

  • make an appointment with the Schacht Center

  • visit a local retail pharmacy (CVS or Walgreens)

  • arrange to be vaccinated at home during spring break

Information on insurance coverage can be found on the Schacht Center website.

Faculty and staff members are not considered at risk for meningitis transmission. Smith recommends, however, that any employees who wish to get vaccinated contact their primary care provider. Employees with conditions such as asplenia, a complement deficiency, those who take the medication Solaris, or have sickle cell anemia, who are at greater risk of becoming infected if exposed, are encouraged to get vaccinated through their primary care provider or a retail clinic.