What Immunizations Should You Have Before College?

Posted on: 9 March 2022

Heading off to college can be such an exciting change. However, it is important to make sure you're fully prepared for this change, and that includes making sure you've received all of the essential immunizations needed to protect you from disease while you're there. What immunizations are recommended for college students? Here are some key ones doctors generally recommend.

Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. It can cause serious illness and even death. Unfortunately, it can spread quickly in crowded conditions, such as those of college dorms and classrooms. So, it's generally recommended that students are vaccinated for meningitis before they go to college. Some colleges even require this vaccine for students who will be living in the dorms.


Some colleges require all students to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Others may only require this vaccine for those living in the dorms. In any case, being vaccinated for COVID-19 is a smart choice, not only to reduce your risk of infection but to reduce your risk of becoming severely ill if you do happen to contract this disease. While COVID-19 is often minor in younger adults, being vaccinated will also help reduce the spread to others who may be more severely impacted, such as older professors and campus staff. Make sure you also get boosters as recommended over time.


The flu vaccine will help reduce your risk of the flu, and if you do still get the flu, your symptoms should be less serious if you've been vaccinated. Keep in mind that a new flu vaccine comes out each year. So, even if you had a flu shot last year, it is important to get the most updated version before you head off to college. Since flu shots are not released until early fall, you may not have time to get this one before you head off to campus. However, many colleges offer free flu shots for students on-campus. If you don't have a flu shot before arriving on-campus, keep your eyes out for one of these free flu shot clinics. Or, seek out a vaccine at a pharmacy near the campus.

Becoming ill at college is not very enjoyable. However, if you get vaccinated for the above diseases before you arrive on campus, you should have some protection that will guard you against these three illnesses. Ask your doctor whether there are any additional vaccines you can benefit from.