SIMPLE SCIENCE: How does the Meningitis B vaccine work?
All Rutgers students are required to receive the Meningitis B vaccine after two students were diagnosed with the disease last spring.
There are three different types of vaccines for bacterial infections. Toxoid vaccines allow the body's immune system to fight off toxins.
Subunit vaccines only contain parts of a virus or bacteria, allowing the body to fight off the dangerous aspect with limited side effects.
Conjugate vaccines trick the body's immune system into attacking dangerous bacteria by pairing with bacterial antigens.
The Meningitis B vaccine is a subunit vaccine. Parts of the bacteria, which cannot cause an infection, are injected into the body, which then learns to fight off an actual infection.
Students are required to get three doses over the course of six months to ensure full protection.