The 82nd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2011, revised existing statutory requirements for higher education students related to vaccination against bacterial meningitis. The revision now requires all entering students to show evidence of an initial bacterial meningitis vaccine or a booster dose during the five-year period preceding, and at least 10 days prior to, the first day of the first semester in which the student initially enrolls at an institution.
An entering student includes a first-time student of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education and includes a transfer student, or a student who previously attended an institution of higher education before January 1, 2012, and who is enrolling in the same or another institution of higher education following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester.
At its April 25, 2012, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the following policy change and revision to the rules:
Conscientious Objection form for student NOT LIVING IN ON-CAMPUS HOUSING
For new students (age 18 years or older) at institutions of higher education and NOT living or residing in on-campus housing, who wish to file an affidavit stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, the student may use the official Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's form, accessible from the website at the link below. The student must print the form, have it notarized, and file it with the institution's Registrar's Office or other designated department or unit.
Conscientious Objection form for student LIVING IN ON-CAMPUS HOUSING, or under age 18
For new students living in on-campus housing, which includes student housing facilities located on the campus of an institution of higher education, such as dormitories, sorority and fraternity houses, privately owned residence halls, and apartments, the student must use the official Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) form. The DSHS form may be ordered electronically. It is then mailed from DSHS to the student and it may take up to two weeks to receive the form.
*This form must also be used by students under the age of 18, regardless of whether they are living on or off campus.*
The DSHS form must be completed, notarized, and provided to the designated school official at the institution the student will be attending. It is the student's responsibility to complete the DSHS form and have it notarized. Information about requesting the DSHS affidavit form is available by http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/default.shtm#exclusions.
The following rules were revised: Section 21.612 (1)(A) refines the definition of a new student to include a student previously exempt under Subsections 21.614 (a)(2) through (5), should the student's exception no longer apply.Below are links to the legislation, rules, procedures to be followed, and the required information. If you have any questions, please contact Donna Carlin.
General Procedure for notifying all new students about bacterial meningitis