Skip to main content

two college-aged women take a selfie together

What vaccines are recommended for college-age students?

To keep yourself and others safe and healthy, it's important for college students to get both the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine this year. You can get both of these vaccines from several convenient locations - including your campus health center, pharmacies, and the local health department - and you can even get both of them at the same time! Getting vaccinated is easy, safe, and will help keep you and your friends from getting sick.
COVID-19 Vaccine

All available COVID-19 vaccines are extremely safe and highly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19, including from the Delta variant. The COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States meet the FDA's rigorous standards for safety and effectiveness. Serious health effects from vaccines are very rare and it's highly unlikely that COVID-19 vaccines will cause long-term health problems. Your risk for serious health problems is much lower from the vaccine than your risk if you're unvaccinated and get COVID-19. (Source: HHS-We Can Do This)

White House COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge
Influenza Vaccine

Influenza (flu) is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Flu can mean a few days of feeling bad and missing work or it can result in more serious illness.

An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. (Source: CDC)
There are also two other vaccines you should know about that are recommended to get between the ages of 11-16 years: the Meningococcal and HPV vaccines. Hopefully you've already gotten them, but if you check and find out that you haven't, it would be a good idea to get caught-up on these vaccines as soon as possible.
Meningococcal (MenACWY) Vaccine

Getting vaccinated is the best defense against meningococcal disease. "Meningococcal meningitis is caused by bacteria that can infect the areas around the brain, spinal cord or the bloodstream. Symptoms include stiff neck, headache, and high fever. NOTICE THE SIMILARITY TO FLU SYMPTOMS? While it's rare, infection can lead to brain damage, lasting disability, disfigurement, and it can be fatal within hours.

About one in ten people who get meningitis will die from it even if treated. College students are at higher risk of meningococcal disease because of close living quarters, coughing, kissing, etc." (Source: Ohio College Health Association)
HPV Vaccine

HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is a common virus that can cause 6 types of cancer. While there is no treatment for HPV, there is a vaccine that can prevent it. Teens and young adults through age 26 who are not already vaccinated should get the HPV vaccine as soon as possible. (Source: American Cancer Society)
To see every immunization recommended through the lifespan and when it is best to receive those vaccines, check out the CDC Immunization Schedules. If you have questions about vaccines or think you may have missed some vaccines, talk with someone at your campus health center or local health department to make a plan to get caught up.

Where to Get Vaccines in College

It's extra important to ensure you stay up-to-date on vaccinations in college because you're living in smaller spaces like dorm rooms, learning in large classes, and meeting people from across the state, country and globe! Thankfully, campus health centers, local health departments, and pharmacies close to campuses make it super easy to get your needed immunizations.

Engage on Social Media

Follow IKC on Instagram Claire COVID Vaccine Card

Follow IKC on Instagram!
Get trustworthy vaccine info and updates straight to your social feed. Share IKC content to make sure your followers, friends, and family have the facts about vaccines.

Other Instagram accounts to follow:

Vaccine Info: Fact vs. Fiction

Resources to Answer Common Questions from IKC
Social Media: A Handy Guide to Sharing Responsibly from Indiana Immunization Coalition
How to Spot Misinformation from