Bacterial Meningitis Information and Requirements

What is Bacterial Meningitis?
Bacterial Meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress quickly. It is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The bacteria that cause meningitis can also infect the blood.

Why Do I Need a Bacterial Meningitis Vaccine?
The State recently passed Senate Bill 1107, effective January 1, 2012, which requires students to show proof of having the vaccine. The entire text of SB 1107 may be found here. http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/82R/billtext/html/SB01107F.htm.

All participants not meeting an exception or qualifying for an exemption must receive the bacterial meningitis vaccination at least 10 days prior to the start of the class or to attendance at the face-to-face component of a blended course or you will not be allowed to attend the class.

Are there exceptions to the law?
The following exceptions apply for TEEX participants:

  1. Students 22 years of age or older, at the time of the class start date, are exempted
  2. If you are enrolled in a course or program that is less than 360 contact hours;
  3. If you are taking internet (web) courses only.

Note: Participants of a blended learning course or program equal to or exceeding 360 contact hours must receive the vaccination regardless of the distribution of online and face-to-face contact hours.

Exemptions
The Texas Department of Health allows exemptions from the immunization for the following reasons:

  1. Medical issues (requires an affidavit or a certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States, in which it is stated that, in the physician's opinion, the vaccination required would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student);
  2. Reasons of conscience, including a religious belief;
  3. Active duty with the armed forces of the United States;
  4. Participants not living in on-campus housing.

To file an exemption under one of the provisions, participants must use the official Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Affidavit Request for Exemption from Immunizations for Reasons of Conscience form. The student must print the form, have it notarized, and file the original document with the TEEX program in which they are enrolling.

What is acceptable evidence of having the meningitis vaccine?

  1. A physician signed or stamped Evidence of Vaccination against Bacterial Meningitis form;
  2. Official state or local immunization record (vaccine must be no more than five years old from the date the student enrolls); or
  3. Official record from school officials.

What happens if I don't get the vaccine?
If you are required to have it, and do not show proof, you will not be able to attend classes.

Where can I get the vaccine?
You can get the vaccine from your doctor, the Texas Department of Health, or through some pharmacies such as CVS or Walgreens.

Is there a deadline to get the vaccine?
Yes, the vaccine must have been given no later than 10 days prior to the start of the face-to-face class.

Important Considerations

  1. You are strongly encouraged to obtain the bacterial meningitis vaccination before entering the United States or moving to the Bryan/College Station area.
  2. You will not be allowed to attend classes until you provide proof of vaccination.
  3. The bacterial meningitis vaccination must be administered by a Health Practitioner authorized by law to administer an immunization.
  4. Vaccinations older than 5 years will require a booster.
  5. The bacterial meningitis vaccination is available at most pharmacies in the Bryan/College Station area.
  6. The cost of the bacterial meningitis vaccination may be cheaper through your current physician.

If you have any questions, please phone: (877) 833-9638

© Copyright 2018 Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
A member of the Texas A&M University System
Ver.1.2015.0204