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Important Information about
Bacterial Meningitis

ATTENTION APPLICANTS:

Senate Bill 1107 of the 82nd Texas Legislature mandates that all students entering Temple College under the age of 22 are required to show evidence (certificate signed by a health practitioner or an official immunization record) of having had a vaccination against bacterial meningitis within a five-year period immediately preceding the first day of the semester. All first-time students, transfer students, and students who have taken a leave of absence from Temple College in either a fall or spring semester must show evidence of having received this vaccination to Admissions and Records office prior to registration.


Acceptable Evidence of Vaccination Includes:

  1. The month, day, and year the vaccination was administered, along with the signature or stamp of the physician or his/her designee, or public health personnel; or
  2. An official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority; or
  3. An official record received from school officials, including a record from another state.
A student, or a parent or guardian of a student, is not required to submit evidence of receiving the vaccination against bacterial meningitis if, under one of the following circumstances, the student or a parent or guardian of a student submits one of the following to the institution:

An affidavit signed by the student stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. A conscientious exemption form can be found at: https://webds.dshs.state.tx.us/immco/

As of Oct. 1, the only means by which a student can object to vaccination for enrollment purposes is to use the DSHS’ current, official form for conscientious objection. This form can be requested online and will be mailed to the student. The online request page location is https://webds.dshs.state.tx.us/immco/. The form takes 5-7 business days to arrive by mail if requested online. In addition, the form must be notarized prior to submitting to the institution for the exemption.

These exceptions do not apply during a disaster or public health emergency, terrorist attack, hostile military or paramilitary action, or extraordinary law enforcement emergency declared by an appropriate official or authority from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Please note: If a student has previously taken the vaccine, he/she must still follow acceptable evidence of vaccination above. The bacterial meningitis vaccine lasts for up to 5 years. A notarized conscientious exemption form is valid for 2 years.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • High fever • Severe headache Light sensitivity
  • Vomiting • Nausea Stiff neck
  • Lethargy • Seizures Confusion or sleepiness
  • Rash or purple patches on skin

There may be a rash or 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.

How Is Bacterial Meningitis Diagnosed?

  • 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 test.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.

How Is The Disease Transmitted?

  • 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.

How Do You Increase Your Risk Of Getting Bacterial Meningitis?

  • 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).

What Are The Possible Consequences Of The Disease?

  • Death (in 8-24 hours from perfectly well to dead)
  • Permanent brain damage • Kidney Failure
  • Learning Disability • Hearing loss, blindness
  • Limb Damage (fingers, toes, arms and legs) that require amputation
  • Gangrene • Coma Convulsions

Can The Disease Be Treated?

  • 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/or required for:
    -All new students under the age of 22 as of January 1, 2012.
  • Vaccinations are effective against 4 of the 5 most common bacterial types that cause 70% of the diseases 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 your personal health care provider.

How Can I Find Out More Information?