Bacterial Meningitis

Texas Education Code section 51.9192 states that all students attending an institution of higher education are required to provide proof of a current bacterial meningitis vaccination. Students meeting the criteria below are exempt from this law:

  • Students who are older than 22 by the first day of class for the term they wish to enroll
  • Students initially enrolled prior to January 1, 2012, who attended the fall of 2011. Students will need to be in continuous attendance for each subsequent fall and spring term until graduation to maintain this exemption. A break in enrollment for a fall or spring term will result in needing a vaccination if the student is under the age of 22 and not had a vaccination within five years from the next desired date of attendance.
  • 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 in a dual credit 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.
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Per Texas Education Code section 51.9191, applicants must provide one of the following prior to enrolling:

  1. Proof of a bacterial meningitis vaccination or booster no longer than five years before the first day of the semester, at least ten days prior to, the first day of the semester; or be administered a vaccination at least 10 days prior to the beginning of the semester.

    or

  2. Documentation evidencing eligibility for an exemption from the vaccination requirement.

You have the right to the following:

  1. Information regarding eligibility and criteria for the exemptions
  2. You may consult a physician of your choice about the need for immunization to prevent the disease.
For those students who have never had a bacterial meningitis vaccination, a vaccination must be administered at least 10 days prior to the beginning of the term. Students who do not comply with this legislation will not be able to register for classes at UTSA.

For more information about meningitis, please visit CDC Meningitis Information Website.

Acceptable Documentation of Vaccination

We will accept any one of the following:
  • A document bearing the signature or stamp of a physician or the physician’s designee or the public health official that administered the vaccination that shows the month, day and year the required vaccine was administered;
  • A copy of an official immunization record issued by a licensed health care provider or local health authority in your country;
  • A copy of an official record received directly from a school official

UTSA requires you to submit proof of your meningitis immunization to Med+Proctor in order to become medically compliant. Please follow the instructions below in order to complete this requirement.

  1. Log into your Med+Proctor account by clicking on the Med+Proctor logo and sign in with your myUTSA ID and passphrase.
  2. Confirm your date of birth.
  3. Review and accept the End User Agreement so we can share your information with UTSA
  4. Upload a copy of your immunization document. Make sure your documents are complete and legible. You will receive an email confirmation from us once the forms have been reviewed.

Note: only the quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against 4 types of meningitis (MCV4, MPSV4), will be accepted. Meningitis B vaccines do not meet the requirement.

Med+Proctor will review your documentation within 2 business days.

If your documentation is accepted, then your meningitis hold at UTSA will be removed within 48 hours once you receive an approval email from Med+Proctor.

If your documentation is incomplete, you will receive an email from Med+Proctor to log into your account. Once logged in, you will see the reason why your documentation is incomplete and will have the opportunity to upload new documentation.

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Acceptable Documentation to Exception to Vaccination

Conscientious Objection form
  • We only accept originals (no copies) of the official Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) form. The TDSHS form must be completed, notarized, and sent to Wellness 360 within 90 days from the date it was notarized.
  • Information about requesting the TDSHS affidavit form is available here: TDSHS Request for Exemption Form

An affidavit or certificate signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in the United States that indicates the physician is of the opinion that the required vaccination would be injurious to the health and well-being of the entering student.

UTSA will not recognize or grant any other exceptions to the vaccination requirements of this requirement.


Important Information

This information is being provided to all new college students in the State of Texas. 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.

High fever

Severe headache

Rash or purple patches on skin

Vomiting

Light sensitivity

Stiff neck

Confusion and sleepiness

Nausea

Lethargy

Seizures

    • There may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots caused by bleeding under the skin. These can occur anywhere on the body.  
    • The more symptoms, the higher the risk, so when these symptoms appear seek immediate medical attention.

    • Diagnosis is made by a medical provider and is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results from spinal fluid and blood tests.
    • Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.

    • The disease is transmitted when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing, or by sharing drinking containers, utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes, etc.) or come in contact with respiratory or throat secretions.

    • Exposure to saliva by sharing cigarettes, water bottles, eating utensils, food, kissing, etc.
    • Living in close conditions (such as sharing a room/suite in a dorm or group home).

    • Death (in 8 to 24 hours following rapid onset of symptoms)
    • Permanent brain damage
    • Kidney failure
    • Learning disability
    • Hearing loss
    • Blindness
    • Limb damage (fingers, toes, arms, legs) that requires amputation
    • Gangrene
    • Coma
    • Convulsions

    • Antibiotic treatment, if received early, can save lives and chances of recovery are increased. However, permanent disability or death can still occur.
    • Vaccinations are available and should be considered for those living in close quarters, college students 25 years old or younger.
    • Vaccinations are effective against 4 of the 5 most common bacterial types that cause 70% of the disease in the U.S. (but does not protect against all types of meningitis).
    • Vaccinations take 7-10 days to become effective, with protection lasting 3-5 years.
    • The cost of vaccine varies, so check with your health care provider.
    • Vaccination is very safe - most common side effects are redness and minor pain at injection site for up to two days.

Vaccination is available at San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (210) 207-8790; Personal Physician; Wellness360, RWC 1.500

 

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