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College Q&A: Texas universities now require bacterial meningitis vaccine

Jan. 21, 2012 at 3:02 p.m.
Updated Jan. 20, 2012 at 7:21 p.m.

Paula Cobler

By Paula Cobler

Does my daughter now have to get an additional vaccine before she can enroll at UHV?

At the beginning of January, a new Texas law went into effect that requires all students under age 30 enrolling in public or private colleges or universities to provide proof of vaccination against bacterial meningitis.

The new law also requires proof of immunization for students under age 30 who previously attended college but are re-enrolling following a break of at least one fall or spring semester.

Bacterial meningitis is a potentially deadly disease that is an inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

It strikes more than 100 students on U.S. college campuses every year, leading to between five and 15 deaths. Those who survive the disease may develop severe health problems or disabilities.

Spring classes started at UHV on Tuesday, so this is the first time the university has had to make sure students are in compliance under the new law.

Before this, previous legislation required that students living in university housing show proof of having the vaccine.

All UHV students now required to get the vaccine must complete a bacterial meningitis immunization form and provide appropriate documentation.

Students exempt from providing proof of the vaccination are those 30 or older no later than 10 days prior to the beginning of the semester, and those under 30 who are enrolled in higher education and have not had a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester.

Students also may submit a health exemption from a physician or an affidavit stating they decline the vaccine for religious beliefs. UHV students enrolled only in online courses also do not have to provide proof of having the vaccine.

UHV students must provide the proper documentation in order to register for class or move into Jaguar Hall residential housing.

For more information about the new requirement, contact UHV Student Solutions at 361-485-4995 or go to uhv.edu/studentaffairs/meningitisinfo.aspx.

Do you have a question about the University of Houston-Victoria? Contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing and communications, at 361-570-4350 or coblerp@uhv.edu.

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