Texas Meningitis Vaccination Law and Going to College

– L. Arthalia Cravin

As of Jan. 1, 2012, incoming Texas college students under 30 years old must be immunized against bacterial meningitis before they enroll in an institution of higher education. This includes enrolling in Amarillo College and WT. The new law, Senate Bill, 1107 is entitled the Texas Meningitis Vaccination Law. The new law mandates that first-time college students, students transferring from another institution and students who are re-enrolling following a break of at least one fall or spring semester be inoculated against the illness. Students who plan to audit a course in the spring semester also must comply with the law.

According to a recent Amarillo news broadcast, because of this new law 600 fewer students enrolled in Amarillo College for the January 2012 spring term. The University of Texas at Arlington has a website indicating that the vaccination costs $130. Other online resources put the cost of the vaccination at between $75 and $100.

What is meningitis? One online resource says that meningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, and less commonly by certain drugs Meningitis can be life-threatening because of the inflammation’s proximity to the brain and spinal cord; therefore the condition is classified as a medical emergency.

Parents and students should be aware that proof must be presented that the vaccination was taken at least 10 days prior to enrolling in college.

Copyright 2012 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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