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.”

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Texas Students Must Get Meningitis Shot Before Moving On Campus

syringeIf you are going to be attending college in the state of Texas this school year, you need a meningitis shot before you can move into your on-campus apartment or dorm room.

There is a new state law in Texas that all entering freshmen have to have this shot prior to moving into their dorm rooms. Unfortunately, despite the many efforts of colleges in Texas to get this information to their incoming students, several of them still have not gotten their shots, and are unable to move to campus until they have provided the documentation showing they have received it. Aside from getting the shot, there is also a 10 day incubation period that all students must go through, which means that even if you get the shot four days before you’re supposed to move in, you still will not be allowed into the dorms until day 10.

Schools have made every attempt to stay on top of reminding students about getting their shot. They have enclosed reminders in acceptance letters, made mention of the law during orientation, sent out emails and letters and even made phone calls to students’ homes. Some of the major schools affected by this new law include University of North Texas, Texas A&M University, Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Austin. Unfortunately, students have still been falling short on getting their shots. North Texas has the highest number of students without shots at eight percent. Read the rest of this entry »


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