In the wake of the deadly meningitis outbreak in northeastern Oklahoma, students attending Oologah-Talala public schools are scheduled to get vaccinated against meningococcal bacteria this week, the state Health Department announced.
Students, along with faculty and staff, may get the free shots from noon to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Oologah-Talala elementary school gymnasium. "This is an institutional outbreak, not a community outbreak,” Health Department spokeswoman Leslea Bennett-Webb said. Instead of going to the clinic in the gymnasium, people in the community who want vaccinations can make an appointment with the Rogers County Health Department, she said. Children who received antibiotics as a precaution last week also should get the vaccine. The department now is estimating that antibiotics were distributed to more than 1,000 students, school staff and close contacts to stop the spread of the bacteria. Two students contracted the disease and died last week. Five more were found to have the disease. The grandmother of Jeremiah Mitchell, a student hospitalized with meningitis has been pressing for vaccinations and legislation requiring meningitis vaccinations before children enter public school. Vaccinations provide long-term protection against future exposure. "I think it should be another mandatory vaccination because it is so deadly.