Meningitis Vaccination Requirement
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, state law (Texas Education Code §51.9192) requires students who will be under age 22 on their first day of class at a public, private or independent institution of higher education in Texas to provide proof of immunization for bacterial meningitis. The vaccination or booster dose must have been received during the five years prior to enrollment and at least ten days before the start of classes.
Students who have been previously enrolled at Texas State and are enrolling following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester will be subject to the vaccination requirement. Students transferring from another institution of higher education will also be subject to the vaccination requirement.
Texas State requires you to meet this requirement before you will be allowed to register for classes.
New students (including those following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester) planning to enroll at Texas State must submit proof of meningitis vaccination. Acceptable evidence of vaccination may include any of the following:
- A document bearing the signature or stamp of the physician or his/her designee or public health personnel (must include the month, day and year the vaccination was administered). Records without a signature or stamp will not be approved.
- An official immunization record from a government health authority (must include the month, day and year the vaccination was administered).
- An official immunization record received from school officials, including a record from another state (must include the month, day and year the vaccination was administered).
- All records must be in English to be approved.
- An activated NetID and password required to submit proof of vaccination.
Students are encouraged to receive the meningitis vaccination because of the higher prevalence of this serious infection in adolescents and young adults. However, a student or the parent or guardian of a student may decline the meningitis vaccination for medical reasons, or for reasons of conscience.
An exemption to the vaccination requirement may be requested by providing one of the following documents:
- A medical affidavit or certificate signed by a physician registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States stating that in the opinion of the physician, the required meningitis vaccination would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student. (This form may be uploaded electronically.)
- An affidavit signed by the student stating that the student declines the meningitis vaccination for reasons of conscience (including a religious belief). The affidavit must be requested in writing from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
- Please allow at least a full month to request, receive, notarize, and get your “Reasons of Conscience Affidavit Form” approved. The form will be mailed to you by the Department of State Health Services and may take up to two weeks to be received. After being notarized, the form must be mailed to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. (These forms cannot be faxed or submitted online.)
429 N. Guadalupe St.
San Marcos, TX 78666
A student is not required to submit evidence of vaccination against bacterial meningitis if they are:
- 22 years of age or older by the first day of the start of the semester
- Enrolled only in online or other distance education courses
- Enrolled in a continuing education course or program that is less than 360 contact hours, or continuing education corporate training
- Enrolled in a dual credit course which is taught at a public or private K-12 facility not located on a higher education institution campus
- Incarcerated in a Texas prison
Approved quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccines protect against four of the strains of meningococci that cause disease (A, C, Y and W-135). The vaccines are very effective and safe, but do not cover 100% of the strains that can cause meningococcal disease.*
Approved U.S. brand name vaccines for teenagers and young adults:
Persons who received a meningococcal vaccination more than five years prior to their first day of class as a new student at Texas State must receive a booster dose of either Menactra or Menveo. Studies have shown that protection from the vaccines diminishes significantly after five years.
Students from other countries who can’t get Menactra or Menveo should confirm with their doctor that their vaccine is equivalent and protects against the A, C, Y and W-135 strains of the disease. Otherwise, the student will be required to get another vaccination with either Menactra or Menveo.
*Although recommended, the new Meningococcal Group B (MenB) vaccines (Trumenba and Bexsero), which only protect against one strain (B), do NOT meet the requirement of a quadrivalent vaccine given within 5 years.
- The Texas State Student Health Center offers meningococcal vaccinations. Appointments for the vaccination can be made online or by calling 512.245.2161 to make an appointment.
- Private physicians, Pediatricians and Family Medicine in particular, often offer meningococcal vaccinations to their patients. Call your physician to ask about availability and cost of the vaccination.
- Local county health departments offer meningococcal vaccinations at significantly reduced prices for those without health insurance or with limited financial resources. Call your local health department to get information about eligibility, vaccination clinic hours, and cost.
- The Hays County Health Department provides meningococcal vaccinations through the local health clinic, located at 401-A Broadway in San Marcos. No appointment is necessary.
- Pharmacies, including those in supermarkets, often provide immunization services. Call to ask about availability and cost of the vaccination.
Medical information about meningococcal meningitis can be found online.