COM Prepared for New Meningitis Law
New students to College of the Mainland will have to add another requirement to their checklist before beginning classes in the spring. A new state law, Senate Bill 1107, requires any student younger than 30 entering college, has to be vaccinated for bacterial meningitis.
Under the law, students must now show proof of a vaccination or booster within the five years preceding and at least 10 days prior to the first day of class. If there is a break of at least one fall or spring semester, a student must show proof of the vaccination before returning to the institution.
“COM is allowing new students to go through the application, testing and registration process but they are being told they must show proof of vaccination before classes start on Jan. 17,” said Martin Perez, director of admissions and international affairs. “Students can bring their shot records or proof of vaccination to the admissions office.”
In 2009 the Texas Legislature passed the Jamie Schanbaum Act inspired by the University of Texas student who, in 2008, lost her legs and many of her fingers because of meningitis. The law required new students living in campus dorms be vaccinated for the disease.
Last year, legislators decided to expand the law after the February death of a Texas A&M student, Nicolis Williams, who contracted the disease. The former law did not require him to be vaccinated because he lived off campus. The new law is named the Jamie Schanbaum and Nicolis Williams Act.
“We are prepared for this new requirement and the counseling and advisement center and the admissions office can provide more information or provide students information on area vaccination locations,” said Perez. For more information, call 409-938-1211 or visit www.com.edu/admissions/meningitis-vaccinations.php.