New State Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirements
Beginning January 1, 2012, Texas state law Senate Bill 1107 requires the following:
All entering students under the age of 22 must provide documentation of receiving an initial bacterial meningitis vaccination does or booster within the last five years. This includes all new students and transfer students, as well as former students who are re-enrolling after a period of absence. Students must show proof of having the vaccination at least ten days prior to the start of the semester.
What is the deadline for receiving the vaccine?
The vaccination must have been administered within the five-year period immediately preceding the first semester of enrollment and at least ten days prior to the start of the semester. Students are ineligible for registration until vaccine documentation is received.
How do I provide proof of vaccination?
Students must provide a copy of vaccination record to the Registrar’s office (please do not submit originals). Trinity Valley Community College will not return vaccination records submitted nor provide copies for use at other schools. Records may be faxed, mailed, or delivered in person to the Registrar’s office.
Acceptable forms of vaccination record include:
- A vaccination record that includes the signature or stamp of a physician or his/her designee or public health professional. Record must include month, day, and the year of administration.
- An official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority.
- An official record received from school officials, including out-of-state records.
Record must show receipt of either the meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Menomune or MPSV4) or meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra or Menveo or BCV4).
Many students may have had a bacterial meningitis vaccine previously for their middle school or junior high admittance. Bacterial meningitis vaccinations are good for FIVE years; expired shot records will require an update to enroll.
Are there exemptions for receiving the vaccine?
Yes. Students age 22 and older are exempt from bacterial meningitis vaccination requirements. Also, students are not required to submit evidence of vaccination against bacterial meningitis if the student, or a parent or guardian of the student submits one of the following to the Registrar:
An affidavit or certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States, in which it is stated that, in the physician’s opinion, the vaccination required would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student.
An “exemption of reasons of conscience” from the Texas Department of State Health Services stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including religious belief. The exemption is filled out online, printed, signed by the student, and turned in to the Registrar.
Where can I receive my vaccination?
Students should visit their primary care physician or family doctor to inquire about the bacterial meningitis vaccination. If a student doesn’t have a preferred physician, or if distance is a problem, the following locations offer vaccination against bacterial meningitis. Be sure to call ahead and check availability.
Athens: Anderson Drug, Brookshire’s Pharmacy, CVS, Walgreens
Palestine: Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Walgreens
Terrell: Brookshire’s Pharmacy, CVS
Uninsured students who meet state criteria can visit a Department of Health Office to apply for free or reduced cost vaccination.
Can I receive my vaccination during open registration?
No; TVCC does not offer the bacterial meningitis vaccine in any capacity during open registration, or during Cardinal Pride Orientation. Be sure to acquire your vaccination at least ten days prior to the first day of class. Also students without documentation are blocked from class registration.
More Information about Bacterial Meningitis:
Meningitis is an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord – also called the meninges. It is important that students consult a physician about the need for immunization against bacterial meningitis to prevent disease contraction. More information about the causes, symptoms, types of meningitis, and ways to prevent contraction are available:
- Bacterial Meningitis Fact Sheet from the Texas Higher Education Coord. Board.
- Meningococcal Vaccines Informative Flyer – CDC
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services