Baylor > Health Center > Services Available > Meningitis Vaccination
The meningitis vaccination (Menactra) is available in the Health Center by appointment.
A Texas State law states ALL new students under the age of 22 must show proof of meningococcal vaccination within the last 5 years and at least 10 days prior to the first class day.
Students MAY NOT register for classes, move into the residence hall or attend class without providing proof of the Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination or an appropriate exemption form to the Health Services Office.
The law defines an "entering student" as: "(A) New student – a first-time student of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education and includes a student who transfers to the institution from another institution; (B) A student who previously attended an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education before January 1, 2012, and who is enrolling in the same or another institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester."
All students must properly complete a Health Form, including the month, date and year of meningitis vaccination. The signature of a physician, other healthcare worker or public health official must be included on the form.
Students may be exempted from the requirement in only one of two ways:
1. An affidavit or certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice in the United States, stating that in the physician's opinion, the vaccination would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student; OR
2. Texas law allows for an exemption from immunizations for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. There are two different processes to obtain an exemption form depending on the student's age and living situation.
For new students living in on-campus housing, which includes student housing facilities located on the campus of an institution of higher education, such as dormitories, sorority and fraternity houses, privately owned residence halls, and apartments, the student must use the official Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) form. The DSHS form may be ordered electronically. It is then mailed from DSHS to the student. The DSHS form must be completed, notarized, and submitted to Baylor Health Services. It is the student's responsibility to complete the DSHS form and have it notarized. Information about requesting the DSHS affidavit form is available at the DSHS Immunizations School & Child-care Requirements page. A written request must be submitted for the affidavit via one of the following:
•Secure on-line FTP site at: https://corequest.dshs.texas.gov/
•Fax the written request to (512) 776-7544
•Mail the written request to: Immunization Branch, Mail Code 1946 PO Box 149347 Austin, TX 78714
For new students at institutions of higher education NOT living or residing in on-campus housing, who wish to file an affidavit stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, the student may use the official Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's form, accessible from the website at the link below. The student must print the form, have it notarized, and submit the original to Baylor Health Services. This form can be found at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Bacterial Meningitis page.
Please note that the above exceptions do not apply during a disaster or public health emergency, terrorist attack, hostile military or paramilitary activity or extraordinary law enforcement emergency declared by an appropriate official or authority from the Texas Department of State health Services and is in effect for Waco/McLennan County.
College students-particularly freshmen living in dorms on campus- are at an increased risk of contracting bacterial meningococcal disease. Bacterial meningitis is a serious infection that can be fatal in as few as 48 hours and may leave survivors with permanent disabilities; therefore it requires early diagnosis and treatment. It is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms closely resemble those of the flu.
Although no vaccine offers 100% protection, the meningococcal vaccine (Menactra or MenVeo) offers the most complete protection against bacterial meningitis.