Last year when a Texas law was past that only required those students living on campus to be immunized over shadowed a law in existence since 2001. One we worked hard on.
This law required all college freshmen to be educated and most universities and junior colleges did so and required the student to read and sign a waiver of refusal. Some students did refuse and became ill but at least they were educated and had a choice.
Sadly, the new law does not give everyone that education or choice. The new law excludes approximately 75% of an at risk college freshmen population. Meningitis Does not Stop at the Doom. When my only child Ryan died, we had no laws and very little information. We help change that. However he would have still died under this law because he would have lived off campus when he started college on a date just a few months after his death. Instead he is buried with only a headstone to mark his life.
Within our national organization, 5 students who sought the vaccine and were told since they lived off campus they didn't need it, All DIED!!.2 are pictured here along with Ryan.
Please don't let your college student who lives off campus be blinded by this law. Make sure they are immunized. If your child's or your meningitis vaccine was taken more than 4-5 years ago speak to your health care provider about a booster. There are two vaccines now. They are Menveo and Menactra.
The law is not enough to stop the needless death and debilitation on college campuses. I call for immediate amendment to this law that would require all college freshmen to be immunized upon entry.
The light at the end of this tunnel is that Meningitis Angels led the advocacy and with our amazing Texas Health Department Immunization branch, Texas now requires all middle school students to be immunized upon entry and follow ACIP rules with a booster at 16 and again 5 years later. This will protect the in state college freshmen but not the out of state or the ones who are not educated on the disease and prevention.
Visit our site and educate yourself.