Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination

Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirement

Texas Senate Bill 1107 (now TEC 51.9192) was passed and signed into law by Texas State Governor Rick Perry. Effective January 1, 2012, TEC 51.9192 (amended by SB No. 62, effective Oct. 1, 2013)  requires all students* entering an institution of higher education (public and private) to either receive a vaccination against bacterial meningitis or meet certain criteria for declining such a vaccination before the first day of the semester.

Texas Education Code (TEC) 51.9192 (entire text)
Texas Senate Bill (SB) 62 (text)
Important Information about Bacterial Meningitis (pdf)

*You are exempt from the vaccination requirements if any of the following apply:

  • If you are entering in January 2014 or thereafter and will be age 22 or older on the first day of the semester you are exempt
     
  • You are enrolled in only online or distance education courses (must complete and sign petition to waive meningitis requirement, see below)
     
  • You cannot take the vaccine because it would be injurious to your health and well-being (must be verified by physician)
     
  • You decline the vaccine due to reasons of conscience, including a religious belief.  PLEASE NOTE: Before you will be allowed to register for classes, you must complete and submit an original, Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) Vaccine Exemption Affidavit Form. This is the only acceptable documentation for this exemption, and this process takes a significant amount of time. Begin well in advance of your intended registration date.

Evidence of Vaccination

Evidence of Vaccination must verify that the vaccination was received during the five year period prior to and no later than 10 days before the first day of the semester.  All documents should include your full name and date of birth.

Entering Fall 2014 – vaccination must be on or after 09/01/2009

Entering Spring 2015 – vaccination must be on or after 01/20/2010

Entering Summer 2015 – vaccination must be on or after 06/02/2010

Entering Fall 2015 – vaccination must be on or after 08/31/2010

Evidence of vaccination must be submitted in one of the following four formats:

  1. A complete Evidence of Vaccination against Bacterial Meningitis Form. Use this form if you plan to obtain your vaccination somewhere other than your personal physician's office.
     
  2. A document bearing the signature or stamp of the physician or his/her designee, or public health personnel (must include the month, day, and year the vaccination was administered).
     
  3. An official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority (must include the month, day, and year the vaccination was administered).
     
  4. An official record received from school officials, including a record from another state (must include the month, day, and year the vaccination was administered).

Evidence to Decline Vaccination

Evidence to Decline Vaccination must be submitted in one of the following formats:

  1. 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 health and well-being of the student.
     
  2. An affidavit that is notarized and signed by the student stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief.

    Request the TDSHS Affidavit Request for Exemption from Immunizations for Reasons of Conscience. Please allow several weeks for delivery. The form cannot be accepted if more than 90 days have passed since the date it was notarized.
     
  3. Students who intend to enroll in Distance Education courses ONLY must submit the petition for a waiver available here - Petition to Waive Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirement for Distance Education Enrollment ONLY.

Important Considerations

  • You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to obtain the bacterial meningitis vaccination BEFORE entering the United States
     
  • Meningitis documents must be in English. If a meningitis document is received in another language, then the document needs to be translated. A seal or stamp must be on the translated document in order to be considered an official record.
     
  • You will not be allowed to register for classes until you provide proof of vaccination. For freshmen and transfer students, registration is during your New Student Conference (NSC); therefore, it is best to provide the documentation BEFORE attending your NSC.
     
  • The bacterial meningitis vaccination must be administered by a Health Practitioner authorized by law to administer an immunization.
     
  • The bacterial meningitis vaccination is available at the Texas A&M University Student Health Center and most pharmacies in the Bryan/College Station area.
     
  • You must receive the bacterial meningitis vaccination at least 10 days prior to the start of the semester. The vaccination must be no more than five years old from the date you first enroll.

How to Submit Evidence of Vaccination or an Affidavit to Decline Vaccination

We suggest submitting your documentation at least two weeks before your intended registration date to prevent possible registration delays.

The preferred method for submission of an immunization record or doctor's note is to upload the document via the Application Information System (AIS).

If you are submitting an affidavit to decline the vaccination, please note that the affidavit cannot be photocopied in any manner. TAMU must receive the original document within 90 days of being notarized; uploaded, faxed or emailed copies are not acceptable.  Please mail the completed, original form to Admissions Processing or you may bring it to your New Student Conference.  

E-mail: admissions@tamu.edu

Fax:
(979) 458-1808, Fax Cover Sheet

Mail: Texas A&M University, Admissions Processing, P.O. Box 30014, College Station, TX 77843-3014

Hand Delivery: General Services Complex, Admissions Processing, 750 Agronomy Rd., Suite 1601.

To determine if your submitted documentation has satisfied the bacterial meningitis requirement, go to the Applicant Information System website, and ensure that a check mark is present on the bacterial meningitis checklist item found under the ‘Additional credentials required prior to Enrollment/Registration’ section.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Admissions at (979) 845-1060 or admissions@tamu.edu.