Meningococcal Vaccine Requirements
All entering students at an institution of higher education* are required to show proof of an initial meningococcal vaccination or a booster dose during the five-year period prior to enrolling [SB 62, 83rd (R) Texas Legislature]. They must get the vaccine at least 10 days before the semester begins. See the exemptions section for more information on exemptions from these requirements.
*an “institution of higher education,” for purposes of this requirement, includes a “private or independent institution of higher education” per Texas Education Code Sec. 51.9192; see Education Code Sec. 61.003 for full definitions of these terms.
Entering college students required to receive meningococcal vaccination and students not required to receive meningococcal vaccine are defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules, Chapter 21, Subchapter T, §21.612, §21.613, and §21.614
Texas Pre-College Vaccination Requirements
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) requires all students attending 7th through 12th grades to have one dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) on or after the student’s 11th birthday, or show valid proof of exemption. Consequently, with these school requirements, some students entering institutions of higher education may already satisfy college entry requirements if they were vaccinated within the past five years. However, many students entering institutions of higher education will need to receive a booster dose of meningococcal vaccine at least ten days before the first day of class. Students should check their immunization records to see if they will need a dose of meningococcal vaccine.
Which students are required to receive meningococcal vaccine?
- A first-time student of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education
- A transfer student from another institution
- A returning student who attended college before January 1, 2012, 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
Which students are not required to receive meningococcal vaccine?
- Students 22 years of age or older by the first day of the start of the semester
- Students enrolled only in online or other distance education courses
- Students enrolled in a continuing education course or program that is less than 360 contact hours, or continuing education corporate training
- Students 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
- Students incarcerated in a Texas prison
- Students who are not enrolled in an institution of higher education
- Students submitting an affidavit or a certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed and in good standing to practice medicine in the United States, stating that, in the physician’s opinion, the vaccination required would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student
- Students who submit an affidavit/form signed by the student (or the parent/legal guardian/managing conservator, if applicable) stating the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief
- For students obtaining exemptions from vaccination, these exemptions do not apply during a disaster or public health emergency, terrorist attack, hostile military or paramilitary action, or extraordinary law enforcement emergency; declared by an appropriate official or authority from the Texas Department of State Health Services; and in effect for the location of the institution the student attends