By Jeanet N. Tannous, M.D.
On January 1, 2012, a Texas law require all new college students under age 30 to have a meningitis shot prior to class registration. In the past, the requirement applied only to those living on campus. Bacterial meningitis is an infection involoving the membranes around the brain and spinal cord. The infection has the potential to be severe and sometimes deadly. An infection can lead to brain damage, loss of hearing, learning difficulties and sometimes loss of extremities due to amputation.
Who needs the meningitis shot?
- All new students <30 years old enrolling at a college or university.
- All transfer students.
- All students returning to school after a semester or more away.
- All students who had an initial meningitis shot more than 5 years ago need a booster.
- Students taking online/ distance learning courses.
- Students with religious beliefs that are contrary to vaccination.
- Students with a medical contraindication specified by a doctor.
Where can a student get vaccinated?
- Children’s Health Center, Marble Falls (830) 693-3988
- Student health centers
- Some health departments
Many insurances do cover the meningitis vaccine. Without insurance, the shot is about $150. Some public health offices shot at reduced cost.
Consult your college or university for specific deadlines to show proof of vaccine. Please contact our office if you need a shot record and/or vaccination.