Menin­gi­tis shot re­quired for some col­lege stu­dents

Austin American-Statesman - - HEALTHYLIVING - By Mary Ann Roser states­ There are no new shot re­quire­ments for school chil­dren in kinder­garten through grade 12, health depart­ment spokes­woman Ca­role Barasch said. A sched­ule of chil­dren’s im­mu­niza­tions is avail­able on the Depart­ment of S

A state re­quire­ment that took ef­fect in Jan­uary will pro­tect first­time col­lege stu­dents liv­ing on cam­pus from a po­ten­tially deadly dis­ease: bac­te­rial menin­gi­tis.

Meningo­coc­cal vac­cine shots are avail­able for $10 to stu­dents who are unin­sured or un­der­in­sured at clin­ics that opened this month op­er­ated by the Austin/Travis County Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Depart­ment. In­sured stu­dents can get shots to pro­tect them from the con­ta­gious dis­ease from their doc­tor.

The Leg­is­la­ture last year re­quired the vac­cine for new col­lege stu­dents in Texas who plan to live on cam­pus start­ing this Jan­uary, but most stu­dents don’t start un­til the fall se­mes­ter.

Menin­gi­tis, which is an in­flam­ma­tion of the mem­branes that cover the brain and spinal cord, can be se­ri­ous, caus­ing deaf­ness, blind­ness and brain dam­age. Symp­toms in­clude a high fever, headache and stiff neck.

The Texas Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion is mount­ing a cam­paign, Be Wise — Im­mu­nize, to ed­u­cate doc­tors about the shot.

Those who qual­ify for the health depart­ment’s clin­ics can get the shots at three lo­ca­tions, and on var­i­ous Satur­days in July and Au­gust. The venues are the Far South Health Clinic, 405 W. Stass­ney Lane; St. John Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, 7500 Bless­ing Ave.; and Rose­wood-Zaragosa Neigh­bor­hood Cen­ter, 2800 Web­berville Road.

Ap­point­ments for shots, whether they are for stu­dents or adults, are re­quired and can be made by call­ing 972-5520.

For links to clinic hours on­line and other web­sites men­tioned in this story, visit this blog en­try at

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