Beginning on January 1, 2012, all entering students are required 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.
Bacterial Meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress extremely fast - so take utmost caution. It is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The bacteria that causes meningitis can also infect the blood. This disease strikes about 3,000 Americans each year, including 100-125 on college campuses, leading to 5-15 deaths among college students every year. There is a treatment, but those who survive may develop severe health problems or disabilities.
Exceptions to Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirement
- A student is not required to submit evidence of receiving the vaccination against bacterial meningitis if the student meets any of the following criteria: The student is 22 years of age or older by the first day of the start of the semester (effective 1/1/2014); or
- the student is enrolled only in online or other distance education courses; or
- the student is enrolled in a continuing education course or program that is less than 360 contact hours, or continuing education corporate training; or
- the student is enrolled via concurrent enrollment and the course which is taught at a public or private K-12 facility not located on a higher education institution campus; or
- the student is incarcerated in a Texas prison.
A student is not required to submit evidence of receiving the vaccination against bacterial meningitis if the student submits to the institution:
- An affidavit or certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States, stating that in the physician's opinion, the vaccination would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student; or
- An affidavit signed by the student stating that the student declines the vaccination for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. A conscientious exemption form from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) must be used, or
- Confirmation that the student has completed the Internet-based Department of State Health Services form to claim an exemption for reasons of conscience (for entering students at public junior colleges ONLY).
Visit the College Vaccine Requirements website for information about requesting a conscientious objection exemption form from DSHS.
The DSHS exemption form may be ordered electronically; however it will be mailed to the address provided by the student. Please allow up to two weeks to receive the form. The form must be completed, notarized, and submitted to our online student medical records system.
For Religious or other exemptions:
The Reason of Conscience Affidavit has to be requested from the Texas State Health Department and must be mailed to Magnus Health. Copies, faxed or uploaded forms will not be accepted. The form itself is a light blue color. If it is uploaded or copied, the Void watermark will appear and makes the form invalid UNLESS it was processed by us via mail.