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College Students Need Protection Too

Shots aren’t just for babies.

In fact, it is recommended that children receive booster shots for various preventable diseases throughout their adolescent years.  And recently, since bacterial meningitis has proven to be a serious, sometimes fatal, disease that is easily spread on college campuses, several states have begun requiring a meningitis vaccine for college students living in dorms.  However, as a direct result of Senate Bill 1107, the state of Texas has now taken these precautions one step further. As of January 1st, a new law has taken effect that makes Texas the first state to require a bacterial meningitis vaccine for all college students under the age of 30, even if they are not living on campus.

Students will be required to provide evidence of vaccination by Friday, Jan. 27 by providing an official immunization record, school vaccination record or the signature or stamp of a physician or health official showing the month, day and year the vaccination or booster was administered.  Though other states often require meningitis vaccinations for 11- and 12-year-old students – with a recommended booster dose at 16 – none go as far as Texas law. Most states only attempt to make students aware of the vaccine, but Texas will be the first to require the vaccination during the five-year period before, or at least 10 days prior to, the first day of the semester for all students.

In a recent article, published in The Monitor, Kim McKay, interim dean of enrollment at South Texas College is quoted as saying, “…we are trying to take all of the proper precautions to protect the health and well-being of our students.”

As you can see in the video below, meningitis often strikes quickly and aggressively.  Since many people are unaware of just how serious the consequences can be, it’s best to hear about the implications of this disease from families who have had first hand experience to share.

While this video was compiled by the National Meningitis Association, there are numerous other stories like these compiled on the Shot by Shot website.

If you know a college student who is currently home on winter break, suggest that they be vaccinated before they return to campus.  We also encourage you to share these stories with friends and  family and check the immunization records for your younger children as well.  A simple vaccine can help save the lives and limbs of those you love.

For more information, please check out these great resources:

National Meningitis Association

Meningitis Angels

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:  Meningitis Questions and Answers 

  1. January 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    I also lost my 20 year old son to bacterial meningitis, and the heartache will last forever. Because I did not know that this disease was potentially vaccine-preventable, I formed the National Meningitis Association with other families in the same situation. The new Texas law is great, and you can see the legislation of other states on our Web site. In the meantime, please protect your college-aged children from meningitis and any disease that is potentially vaccine-preventable. Children across all of the life spans need to be protected. They are our most valuable resource.

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  2. March 22, 2012 at 10:01 am

    It is extremely important that people realize that meningitis is a serious disease, and that it can attack any moment. If there is an option to get your self protected with vaccination, just do it. Since it’s such a dangerous disease and it develops so fast, if you don’t seek for help right after you notice first symptoms of meningitis, it may be too late. Please spread the word about meningitis awareness around.

    Like

  1. January 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm

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