College Students Need Protection Too
Jan 05, 2012

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.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_IU7eM_TvA&feature=player_embedded#!]
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 


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