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Institutional Requirements for Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination

Official Meningitis Rules | Meningitis Vaccination Requirement

The 82nd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2011, revised existing statutory requirements for higher education students related to vaccination against bacterial meningitis. The revision now requires all entering students to show evidence of an initial bacterial meningitis vaccine or a booster dose during the five-year period preceding, and at least 10 days prior to, the first day of the first semester in which the student initially enrolls at an institution.

An entering student includes a first-time student of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education and includes a transfer student, or a student who previously attended an institution of higher education before January 1, 2012, and who is enrolling in the same or another institution of higher education following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester.

Exceptions to Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirement

A student is not required to submit evidence of receiving the vaccination against bacterial meningitis, or a booster dose, if:

(1) the student is 30 years of age or older by the first day of the start of the semester; or
(2) the student is enrolled only in online or other distance education courses; or
(3) the student is enrolled in a continuing education course or program that is less than 360 contact hours, or continuing education corporate training; or
(4) the student is enrolled in a dual credit course which is taught at a public or private K-12 facility not located on a higher education institution campus; or
(5) the student is incarcerated in a Texas prison.

A student is not required to submit evidence of receiving the vaccination against bacterial meningitis, if the student submits to the institution:

(1) An affidavit or certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States, stating that in the physician’s opinion, the vaccination would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student; or
(2) An affidavit signed by the student stating that the student declines the vaccination for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. A conscientious exemption form from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) must be used.

If a student has an objection to receiving the vaccination for reasons of conscience, information about requesting the affidavit form from DSHS is found at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/default.shtm#exclusions.

The DSHS form may be ordered electronically; however it will be mailed to the address provided by the student. Please inform the student that it may take up to two weeks to receive the DSHS form. The DSHS form must be completed, notarized, and provided to the designated school official at the institution the student will be attending.

It is the student’s responsibility to complete the DSHS form and have it notarized. The student must file the completed/notarized form with the designated office or unit of the institution.

Institutional Requirements for Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination

Each institution of higher education, or private or independent institution of higher education must designate a department or unit to receive evidence from the student of receipt of an initial bacterial meningitis vaccination or booster dose during the five-year period preceding, and at least 10 days prior to, the first day of the first semester in which the student initially enrolls at an institution, or following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester at the same or another institution.

Each institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education must provide information about immunization exemptions to students with their registration materials. The institution must provide students with the following information prior to a student’s initial enrollment in the institution:

(1) written or electronic notice of the right of the student or of a parent or guardian of a student, to claim an exemption from the vaccination requirement; and
(2) written or electronic notice of the importance of consulting a physician about the need for the immunization against bacterial meningitis to prevent the disease.

Under justifiable circumstances, an administrative official of the designated department or unit of an institution of higher education, or private or independent institution of higher education, may grant extensions to individual students to extend the compliance date to no more than 10 days after the first day of the semester or other term in which the student initially enrolls.
All documents may be mailed, faxed, emailed or hand delivered to the Wiley College Health Services Office.

Mail: Wiley College, 711 Wiley Ave., Marshall TX 75670
Fax: 903-923-8878
Email: sepperson@wileyc.edu 

Reminder-Students will not receive an official housing assignment until appropriate documents have been received by the Health Services Office.
If you have any questions, please contact Wiley College Health Services at 903.927.3260.






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