The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Without timely immunization students can?t enroll

Often left as an afterthought or sometimes totally forgotten, the consequences of not getting immunized are not what a typical college student usually considers. Non-fulfillment of the requirement could leave the unsuspecting student with a registration hold midway through his or her course of studies, among other things.

‘ ‘A student has one semester, the first semester, to fulfill the requirements for measles/rubella and two semesters to fulfill the hepatitis B,’ said Sharon Aronoff, health educator at the Klotz Student Health Center. ‘If they don’t do it within the time given, the university will not let them register for classes the following semester.’

‘The university requires two immunizations: the two are for measles/rubella and one for hepatitis B, it is required by direction of the chancellor of the CSU (California State University) system,’ said Aronoff.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released on Aug. 22 a statement on its website describing an increased incidence of measles, a disease which the CDC had declared eliminated here in the United States in 2000. The statement indicated that 2008 saw a sharp increase of 131 cases in the months between January and July alone, up from an average of 63 cases per year between 2000 and 2007. California saw 14 cases between those months yet the numbers were not reflected in the CSUN population.

‘We haven’t had any outbreaks on this campus, not that I am aware of,’ said Mercedes Gallup, nursing and clinical support unit supervisor of the Klotz Student Health Center, ‘California I know has had an outbreak, it hasn’t been in our population specifically but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. It’s out there and we kind of have cluster outbreaks, but you never know where one of those cluster outbreaks is going to pop up.’

Business major and senior, Chengji Chia, 26, agreed that it was better to be safe than sorry.

‘I rather not have to deal with it, especially if it’s something hardcore like measles or hepatitis, better just get it over with,’ said Chia.

There has been recent controversy surrounding the issue of immunization.

A story released by the Agence France-Presse on Aug. 27 described an outbreak of mumps in the Canadian city of Ottawa, which led to ‘meningitis, deafness and concerns about sterility in several people.’ The roots of the outbreak were traced to a religious group who decried vaccinations as ‘an affront to God.’ On Aug. 29, the Brisbane Times reported news of an Australian couple going into hiding with their newborn child to avoid mandatory hepatitis B vaccination for newborns.

Aronoff declined comment on the stories but described the campus situation as that of ‘mass immunity’ or as Gallup put it, ‘herd immunity.’

‘ ‘If you have a whole population that you immunize, there will always be a certain number of population this are not immunized, so actually the herd immunity of the population helps protect the unimmunized (sic) by surrounding them, so if you’re in close quarters, you’re spending a lot of time in a concentrated area, whether the dorms or classrooms or the campus as a whole, by taking time to immunize the greater number, you have less of a chance of an outbreak,’ said Gallup.

However, the system is not entirely fail-safe and there have been students especially from out of state that fall through the cracks, to which Gallup said, ‘eventually, we’ll catch up to you.’

Gallup also said that the measles did have a chance of waning over the years and advised regular checkups to ensure effectiveness.

The Klotz Student Health Center offers immunization services for those who are not immunized and tests for those who are unsure.

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