In order to protect Idaho college students from Meningococcal disease, Cathy Deckys, clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing, Pam Strohfus, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, program coordinator for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and chair of the Idaho Immunization Coalition, guided Boise State student nurses in organizing a Meningitis Campaign. The campaign resulted in 31 clinics and 2400 meningitis vaccines given to college students on campuses across Idaho.
Meningococcal disease develops very rapidly and can be fatal in as little as 24 hours. Young adults are at increased risk due to their social behaviors and close living conditions, such as residence halls. Many Idaho college students have not received this vaccination as it is not required for college admission. Idaho’s Meningitis Campaign is part of a national movement to bring awareness to the importance of vaccines, including the meningitis vaccine.
The Idaho Immunization Coalition received Meningitis vaccines from the Idaho Immunization Program at the State Health and Welfare office to be given free to Idaho college students across the state. Over 30 nursing students and two nursing faculty at Boise State School of Nursing organized diverse interprofessional groups to facilitate the administering of the vaccines on campuses throughout the state of Idaho. These partners included Novartis Vaccine Pharmaceuticals, State Board of Education, Boise State Wellness Center, Lewis-Clark State College Division of Nursing and Wellness Center, Idaho State University School of Nursing and Wellness Center, Idaho Student Nurses Association, Northwest Nazarene University School of Nursing, College of Idaho School of Nursing and Wellness Center, Wal-Mart, Idaho Dairymen’s Association, Whole Foods, Albertson’s, Winco, St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus Hospitals, and local immunization coalitions.
The Boise State nursing faculty and students will conclude this eighteen month long campaign by administering additional vaccines to the athletes of Boise State University in April.