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Bacterial meningitis vaccination required for Spring 2012

Incoming Lamar University students, just like college students across Texas, will need a vaccination against bacterial meningitis to attend classes on campus starting in Spring 2012.

To comply with Texas Senate Bill 1107, also known as the Jamie Schanbaum and Nicolis Williams Act, all new students under age 30 who attend on-campus classes must receive a vaccination against bacterial meningitis or meet specific criteria for declining a vaccination. The requirement also applies to students returning after a break in enrollment for at least one fall or spring semester.

Students planning to attend Lamar University in Spring 2012 who were not enrolled for Fall 2011 will need to submit proof of vaccination or exemption before registering for classes.

Students who do not qualify for an exemption must be immunized at least 10 days prior to the first class day. Spring classes begin Jan. 18, 2012, so students should be immunized no later than Jan. 8, 2012. Vaccinations are valid for five years.

Students can provide proof of vaccination with a Lamar University immunization record/medical exemption form, an official immunization record, an official school record or a document signed by a physician, designee or public health official. Proof of an exemption may be provided with a Lamar University immunization record/medical exemption form, an affidavit provided by a physician or a conscientious exemption form from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The Lamar University immunization record/medical exemption form may be found online at beacardinal.lamar.edu/bacterial-meningitis. The conscientious exemption form must be requested from the Texas Department of State Health Services and may take several weeks for delivery.

Proof of vaccination or exemption may be submitted by e-mail to immunization@lamar.edu, in person to the Records Office in Wimberly 102, or by mail to Lamar University Office of Admissions, P.O. Box 10009, Beaumont TX 77710.

State law previously required a bacterial meningitis vaccination for students living in on-campus housing. Legislation passed in the 2011 session and signed by Gov. Rick Perry expanded the requirement to all new students under the age of 30. Students enrolled only in online classes are exempt from the requirement.

Registration for Lamar University’s Spring 2012 semester begins Thursday for special populations, which includes athletes, honors students, seniors and students with disabilities. Open registration begins Nov. 10.

Students must apply, be admitted and comply with the new bacterial meningitis vaccination requirement before registering for classes. For more information on the vaccination requirement, go to beacardinal.lamar.edu/bacterial-meningitis. For more information on how to become a Lamar University student, visit BeACardinal.com.