Health News

There Is Now a Plan B Vending Machine at Brandeis University

It's stocked with many different health care products and was spearheaded by students in Waltham.


plan b vending machine

Photo via Getty Images/AH86

A new type of vending machine has landed at Brandeis University in Waltham. It’s not one that dispenses snacks or soft drinks, but one that is intended for those who need access to health care products, like the emergency contraceptive Plan B.

Along with Plan B, the wellness vending machine stocks things like Tylenol, menstrual supplies, and condoms and it is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the Shapiro Campus Center at Brandeis University. The idea came to life from the student-activism group Brandeis Pro-Choice—which promotes reproductive rights—back in the spring of 2017. Samantha Lauring, a member of the group, told the Globe they came up with the idea after reading about California schools installing similar machines.

According to the TimesCalifornia schools that have wellness vending machines include institutions like Stanford and University of California, among others. For students to have access to something like this whenever they need it is pretty big, and further allows people to take their health into their own hands.

As a chapter of Planned Parenthood Generation Action—a network of young activists on campuses across the country—the student club was given a $5,000 grant from Planned Parenthood to spearhead the project, as well as support and resources to make it happen.

Most university health centers carry products like these but their hours are limited. At Brandeis University the health center is only open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through the week and is closed on the weekends, leaving students with limited access to care on campus. Plan B is most effective when taken right away—this vending machine allows for easy access, and more privacy.

The club told Boston 25 News that it will also serve as a resource for survivors of sexual assault and will be available to students of all gender identities. “Access to sexual and reproductive health care is essential to everyone’s health and well-being,” Susannah Miller, Brandeis Pro-Choice President, told Boston 25 News. “This vending machine will help all Brandeis students access care when we need it.”