Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirement
Texas Education Code § 51.9192 as amended by SB 1107 of the Regular 82nd Texas legislature (passed in May 2011) establishes the requirement that all entering students enrolling in public, private or independent institutions of higher education on or after January 1, 2012 must show evidence of having received an initial bacterial meningitis vaccination or booster during the five year period preceding and at least 10 days prior to the first day of the semester and identifies exceptions to the requirement.
All entering students to the institution must meet this requirement and are not permitted to enroll prior to submitting required documentation.
WHO IS AN ENTERING STUDENT
- All first-time students to the institution
- All transfer students
- All returning students who are enrolling after a break in enrollment of a long semester (fall or spring).
WHO IS EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENT
Students age 30 or older as the first day of the semester for which the student applies
Student exclusively enrolled in online/distance education
A student, or a parent or guardian of a student, is not required to submit evidence of receiving the vaccination against bacterial meningitis if the student, or a parent or guardian of a student, submits to the institution:
- an affidavit or a certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States, in which it is stated that, in the physician’s opinion, the vaccination required would be injurious to the student's health and well-being;
- an affidavit signed by the student stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief.
For new students 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 . The student must print the form, have it notarized, and file it with the Office of Admissions and Recruiting, Tandy Hall 115.
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. A completed, notarized "Exemption from Immunization for Reasons of Conscience" form from the Texas Department of State Health Services must be used. The only approved form for this exemption for student living in on-campus housing can be found here. If the student is age 18 or older, they can complete the form themselves, listing themselves as the parent or legal guardian. TDSHS does not make online copies of the form available to print out, and copies of the form are not available at local health departments or TDSHS.
Because bacterial meningitis is a serious and potentially deadly disease, applicants should consult a physician about immunizing to prevent the disease.
HOW TO SUBMIT REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION
If providing a completed "UTB Proof of Immunization Compliance" form, submit to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.
- In Person: Tandy Hall 115 during regular office hours
- By Fax: 956-882-7810
- By Email: Scan and attach documents and email to email@example.com
- By Mail: Office of Admissions and Recruitment
80 Fort Brown, Tandy Hall 115
Brownsville, TX 78520
If providing documentation on a form signed or stamped by a physician, his/her designee or public health personnel (other than the UTB Proof of Immunization Compliance form), official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority or an official record received from school officials, the form must indicate the month, day and year the vaccination or booster dose was administered and must be submitted to the Office of Student Health Services.
For Additional Information on Meningitis please visit the following links:
- In Person: Cortez Building
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Foundation for Infectious Disease
The National Meningitis Association - Brochure
Information on the Meningitis Vaccine