Bacterial Meningitis

Beginning Jan. 2014, Texas state law (SB 62) (click on the link below) mandates that all entering students under the age of 22 provide a certificate signed by a health care provider or an official immunization record verifying that a student has been vaccinated against bacterial meningitis, or has received a booster during the five years prior to registration. Students may also submit proof of approved conscience exemption from the Texas Department of State Health Services (see below for more information).
Texas State Law (SB 62)
Who is required to comply with the Meningitis Vaccination Law?
  • All newly admitted students under the age of 22
  • Students under the age of 22 who are returning to the university after an absence of at least one fall or spring semester

 

What are the acceptable forms of evidence?
  1. A Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Compliance Form containing the required information with the signature or stamp of a physician or his/her designee, or public health personnel. The form must be completed fully, including the month, day, and year the vaccination dose or booster was administered.
  2. A notarized Admissions Bacterial Meningitis Waiver for conscience exemption.

All documentation must include the month, date, and year that the vaccine or booster dose was

 

Which students are exempt from receiving the vaccination?
  • Students 22 years of age or older by the first-class day of the session or semester
  • Students who provide a notarized Exemption from Immunizations Form for conscience exemption

 

How much time do I have to comply with the vaccination requirements?
  • Newly admitted students should obtain the required vaccination or booster and documentation upon submitting your application.
  • Returning students should obtain the required vaccination or booster and submit documentation before they will be able to register for the semester.

*Proof of vaccination is not required to be considered for admission.
 

What happens if I don’t provide the necessary documentation?

You will not be able to register for classes until the proper documentation is received.
 

Where can students get the bacterial meningitis vaccine?

Students with the University Health Insurance Plan
The North American University Health Insurance Plan does not cover vaccinations.

Students with Medicaid or CHIP
The first option for students who have Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Plan) should be to contact his/her established healthcare provider to see if they offer the vaccine.

Students without insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover the bacterial meningitis vaccine

  1. If the student is 18 or younger, he/she may qualify for the Texas Vaccines for Children Program. Call the United Way’s referral helpline, by dialing 211, to find healthcare providers in the area who participate in this program.
  2. Many Texas city/county health departments offer free or low-cost meningococcal vaccine as part of children and adult immunization programs. The student should call to confirm that they offer the bacterial meningitis vaccine for the student’s age and specific circumstances. This link provides additional information on these services: “Full Service” City/County Health Departments in Texas.
  3. The bacterial meningitis vaccine is available at most doctors’ offices and private clinics, many large pharmacy chains, and some minor emergency centers or medi-clinics. It is recommended that the student call to schedule an appointment to confirm that the facility offers the vaccine.

 

How far in advance should I plan to arrive in the U.S. in order to receive the vaccine/booster shot?

If you plan to receive the vaccine in the U.S., you should arrive no later than 2 weeks prior to the first day of classes. You must receive the vaccination at least 10 days before the first day of classes for the semester, and you will be required to wait 10 days after your vaccination date to move into campus housing.
 

As an international student, can I present medical documentation from my country in order to get an exemption due to medical reasons?

Unfortunately, the law requires that you visit a doctor in the U.S. to be able to get an exemption for medical reasons. We recommend that you bring an English translation of your records with you, so that you can present them to a U.S. physician. You will need to make sure that your travel arrangements will give you sufficient time to visit a doctor in the U.S.
 

Where do I send (How can I submit) the required documentation?

For faster processing, write your NAU ID number on the top right corner of each document submitted and email to:

International Students – intadmissions@na.edu
Resident Students – admissions@na.edu