Texas College Students Scrambling To Get Meningitis Vaccine With New Law In Effect

There's a new law at college campuses across Texas.

Incoming students are now required to be vaccinated for bacterial meningitis.

Now students are rolling up their sleeves at Texas A&M where Junior Nicolis Williams died of meningitis last February.

It's some peace of mind for Texas A&M Senior Aaron Kleinschmidt.

On the first day of a new school year News 3 found him at the Texas A&M Beutel Health Center getting a bacterial meningitis shot.

"I didn't actually have it required. I'm gonna head to grad school here in a little bit and I just figured it would be a good thing to have," said Kleinschmidt.

A new state law requires all incoming and transfer college students in Texas be vaccinated ten days before the start of classes.

The legislation came in part after 20-year-old Texas A&M Economics Junior Nicolis Williams died within days of contracting the illness last February.

"I know there had been a student death last year. He was a friend of my friends, so that was a concern," said Aaron Kleinschmidt.

Doctor David Teller is an Associate Director for Medical Services at A&M and says around 10 percent of bacterial meningitis cases are fatal.

"Since probably the middle part of December when we started getting in the transfer-in students and the international students, we've given about 150 doses which is more than double what we did last year," said Dr. Teller.

'While the deadline for getting the vaccine for the spring semester has come and gone confusion still remains over which students are actually required to get it.

Senior Robert Elford was scrambling to get the vaccine and worried that he'd be dropped from his classes, unaware that the new rule didn't apply to him.

"Any kind of money I could save my parents would be helpful and ultimately that's what insurance is for and it just doesn't make any sense not to get that shot covered," said Elford.

While students are encouraged to get the vaccine they can opt out through their doctor and for religious or conscientious reasons by requesting a waiver.

The Brazos County Health Department was charging $30 for the doses, but ran out of meningitis vaccines last week.

The Beutel Health Center on the A&M campus charges $110.

Texas A&M officials say they want to to ask the state for an extension for students still needing the vaccine and are unaware of any students being blocked from going to class, at least right now.

KBTX-TV Channel 3 4141 E. 29th Street Bryan, TX 77802 Phone: (979) 846-7777 Fax: (979) 846-1490 News Fax: (979) 846-1888
Copyright © 2002-2015 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 137527468 - kbtx.com/a?a=137527468
Gray Television, Inc.