Texas College Students Required to Get Meningitis Vaccine

If you plan on attending a Texas college this year, you can plan to add the meningitis vaccine to your shot record. In May, Texas became the only state to implement a law that requires all college students to receive the vaccine.

Colleges across the state are prepping for the new regulation, which will take effect at the beginning of 2012. Previously, under the Jamie Schanbaum Act of 2009, students living in a college dorms were required to get the vaccine. Gov. Rick Perry signed the second bill, also named for Schanbaum,  into law in May.

Schanbaum contracted meningitis during her sophomore year at the University of Texas. She lost  most of each finger and both legs below the knee to the flesh eating disease. However, in some ways, she said she’s fortunate.

“It could have been worse: I could have been blind, I could have been deaf, I could have had brain damage, I could have died,” she said. “I wouldn’t say I feel unlucky at all. I would say I consider this significant.”

College students living in dorms or other shared housing are at high risk  to contract meningitis because the disease is more likely to spread in crowded living quarters. In 2009, Texas reported 336 cases, 34 of which were between the ages of 15 to 29.

Via the Texas Tribune

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