New meningitis vaccine requirement for Students New to ACC this spring
A new state law goes into effect January 1 that requires students who attend classes at all colleges and universities, including Alvin Community College, for the first time during the spring term to show proof of receiving a bacterial meningitis vaccine.
The law implemented in the past legislature mandates the vaccine requirement for students under the age of 30. The requirement also applies to students who are transferring from another school, said JoAn Anderson, ACC Dean of Students.
“You have to present evidence of vaccination within 10 days before the first day of the semester – January 15,” Anderson said.
That evidence can be a note signed by a physician, a pharmacist or other healthcare provider stating the student has been given the vaccine, she said. An immunization record from the health department also will be accepted, Anderson said.
Any form showing the student has received the vaccine must be turned into the Enrollment Services Center before registration.
The vaccination requirement does not apply to students who have online classes only, older than 30 or enrolled in Continuing Education courses less than 360 hours in length. Dual credit students who attend class on a high school campus only also are not required to present proof of the vaccination.
A student can be exempt from taking the vaccine if they have a conscientious objection form from the Texas Department of State Health.
Bacterial meningitis is a debilitating infection that can cause permanent disability or death. Infections are more common in areas where large groups of people gather which is why college students in particular are at risk, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. It is more commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, the CDC reports.
Students can obtain a vaccine from a local pharmacy, their physician, a healthcare provider or a clinic.
For information about the meningitis vaccine visit http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/vaccine-info.html. For more information about the new requirement call (281) 756-3517.