REQUIREMENT: Texas Senate Bill 1107, passed in May 2011, requires all students entering a public, private, or independent institution of higher education in Texas as of January 2012 and thereafter to provide documentation that they have had a meningococcal (bacterial meningitis) vaccine or “booster” dose – within five years of the first class day of the semester they will enter that institution and no later than 10 days before the first day of classes in that same semester.
After you have been admitted AND you have chosen to come to Texarkana College, you must submit documentation to the office of Admissions that you have complied with the following requirement. Failure to do so may affect your registration.
Who Must Comply and Who is Exempt:
Check your shot records. You may need a second shot to comply. To ensure that your registration is not affected please submit your documentation to Texarkana College as soon as you are admitted AND have decided to come to Texarkana College, but at least two weeks before your intended registration date (even if that date is during a new student orientation).
Students who must comply with this state-mandated requirement:
Unless exempted as noted below, the following entering students must comply with this requirement:
- All first-time students of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education, in this case Texarkana College.
- All students who are transferring from any institution of higher education to Texarkana College.
- All students who previously attended an institution of higher education, including Texarkana College, and who are enrolling or re-enrolling in Texarkana College following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester. (Students, who complete a spring semester at Texarkana College, are not enrolled for the summer at Texarkana College, and who return in the fall are considered “continuing students” and not included in this requirement.)
Texarkana College in conjunction with Christus St. Michael’s will offer the meningitis vaccine at a discounted rate of $68.00 (cash or check only) in the Christus St. Michael’s Mobile Go Unit in the Nelson Administration Building parking lot. Please check back for available dates.
Students can also contact Christus St. Michael’s at 903.748.8573 and set up individual appointments to meet the mobile go unit. Please leave a message if no one answers and they will call you back.
Students who are EXEMPT from this requirement, per the aforementioned Senate Bill:
- You will be age 22 or older on the first day of classes of the semester in which you are enrolling at Texarkana College.
- Dual Credit Students will not be required to show proof of vaccine unless taking a class on the Texarkana College campus or at TC@TexAmericas Center.
- You will be enrolled only in online or distance education courses, in which case you must notify the Office of Enrollment Services that you want to use this exemption.
- You cannot take the vaccine because of medical reasons or because you decline the vaccine due to reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. To prevent your registration/classes from being affected, you must submit to the OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS a completed form. Exemption forms must be completed online. The online request page location is https://co-request-jc.dshs.texas.gov/. Please select the link under PUBLIC JUNIOR COLLEGE.
What is the acceptable documentation to prove that you’ve met the meningococcal vaccine?
Acceptable documentation includes:
- the signature or stamp of a physician or his/her designee or public health personnel on a form that shows the month, day, and year the vaccination or booster dose was administered;
- an official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority that includes the same information as above; or
- an official record received from school officials, including a record from another state, that includes the same information as above.
If you are exempt due to medical reasons, you must provide the following documentation:
- You, or your parent or guardian if you are a minor, must submit an affidavit or a certificate signed by a physician who is licensed to practice medicine in the United States, which states that, in the physician’s opinion, the meningococcal vaccine would be injurious to your health and well-being.
- In the event that your physician is not available to complete the form, https://co-request-jc.dshs.texas.gov/. Completing the exemption form will help to expedite your registration.
Documentation must be in English and include your full name and date of birth. Write your Texarkana College STUDENT ID NUMBER on all pages of your documentation before submitting it.
Declining the meningococcal vaccine for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. Click the following link to request the exemption form. https://co-request-jc.dshs.texas.gov/
NOTE: Because of the potential severity (including fatality) of meningococcal disease (bacterial meningitis), we recommend that you consult a physician about the need for the vaccine before deciding to seek an exemption from this requirement.
The only acceptable documentation is a completed and notarized Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) Vaccine Exemption Affidavit Form. This form can be requested online. The online request page location is https://co-request-jc.dshs.texas.gov/. Please select the link under PUBLIC JUNIOR COLLEGE.
The timeframe for submitting required documentation to Texarkana College Office of Admissions
The following timelines apply for submitting documentation proving you’ve had the meningococcal vaccine, that you can’t take the vaccine because of medical reasons OR that you decline the vaccine because of reasons of conscience, including a religious belief.
Don’t submit your documentation until you have applied to Texarkana College. The meningococcal vaccine requirement is not part of your admission process, but non-compliance may affect your registration process. Texarkana College has no way of managing your documentation until you have applied, and you will have to resubmit it if you send it in to Texarkana College before you have completed an application.
How to submit your documentation to Texarkana College:
Do not submit any medical information other than vaccine-related information.
Write your STUDENT T-NUMBER on each page of any documentation you submit to Texarkana College.
Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Form
By U.S. Mail:
Office of Admissions/Immunization Compliance
2500 N. Robison Road
Texarkana, Texas 75599
By FAX: 903.823.3451 Attn: Office of Admissions/Immunization Compliance
During rush periods, you may receive busy signals before being able to complete your fax. Please plan accordingly. This information is subject to change.
Where you can get the meningococcal vaccine (including those without insurance)
You can get the meningococcal vaccine at most doctor’s offices and private clinics, many large pharmacy chains, and some minor emergency centers or medi-clinics. Call in advance to see whether they offer the vaccine, require an appointment, and take your insurance.
If you have Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Plan), please contact your established healthcare provider as your first option.
If you are uninsured or your insurance will not cover the meningococcal vaccine:
- If you are 18 or younger, you might qualify for the Texas Vaccines for Children Program. Call the United Way’s referral helpline, by dialing 211, to find healthcare providers in your area who participate in this program.
- Many Texas city/county health departments offer free or low-cost meningococcal vaccine as part of children and adult immunization programs. Call to confirm that they offer the meningococcal vaccine for someone your age and in your circumstances. These services are ONLY for those without insurance or whose insurance does not cover the cost of the vaccine.
“Full Service” City/County Health Departments in Texas
Booster Shots Needed After Five Years: If it has been more than five years since you had your vaccine, you will need a booster shot prior to the first class day of the semester in which you entering Texarkana College. Click on the following link for more information:
Meningococcal vaccine: who needs to be vaccinated? (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)