Texas Education Code section 51.9192 states that all students attending an institution of higher education are required to provide proof of a current bacterial meningitis vaccination.
Bacterial Meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress extremely quickly. It is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The bacteria that causes meningitis can also infect the blood. This disease strikes about 370 Americans each year which is a decrease in the number of people infected due to people getting vaccinated. In 2016, there were 72 confirmed cases for youth between the ages of 16 and 23 years of age; 32 of these students attended college. Treatment for the disease is available, but severe health problems or disabilities are still possible.
Effective January 1, 2014, all entering students are required 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 a Texas higher education institution.
Under justifiable circumstances, an institution may grant extensions to individual students to delay 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 (Texas Education Code 21.614).
An entering student includes a first-time student of a Texas public institution of higher education or private or independent institution and includes a transfer student or a student who previously attended an institution of higher education before January 1, 2014, 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.
For more information on immunization requirements for students at institutions of higher education, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website.