UT Tyler Meningitis Policy

Meningitis Policy

The University of Texas at Tyler

SB 1107

Beginning in January 2012, the following students are required to provide documentation of the vaccination for bacterial meningitis within five years prior to enrollment before completing the registration process:

Students must fulfill this requirement if they meet any of the following:

  • A first-time student of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education
  • A transfer student
  • A student who previously attended an institution of higher education, who is enrolling in the same or another institution of higher education following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester

The following students are exempt from the vaccine requirement:

  • A student 22 years of age or older by the first day of the semester
  • A student enrolled only in online-only program or other distance education courses. An online-only program is classified as a degree program in which course options are only offered in a distance education format. Programs that offer the option of online or face-to-face coursework do not qualify. If the student attends/has the option to attend any on-campus classes they must submit proof of vaccination. It is the student's responsibility to receive advisor confirmation that their program is 100% online-only classes and to send that confirmation to The One-Stop at enroll@uttyler.edu.
  • A student enrolled in a continuing education course or program that is less than 360 contact hours
  • A student who cannot take the vaccine because of medical reasons (must be verified by physician)
  • A student declines the vaccine due to reasons of conscience, including a religious belief.

The Meningococcal Meningitis immunization must be received during the 5 year period prior to but not later than 10 days before the first day of the semester.

Failure to provide documentation will delay your registration process.

Proof of Bacterial Meningitis Immunization must be an official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority.  Documentation must be in English and submitted with the the month, day, and year the vaccination dose or booster was administered. If a meningitis document is received in another language, then the document needs to be professionally translated. A seal or stamp must be on the translated document in order to be considered an official record. Additionally, the specific vaccination received must be declared and indicated so that we can qualify it against our accepted vaccination types.

Only the quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against four types of meningococcus bacteria, (MCV4, MPSV4) will be accepted.

A Texas Department of State Health Services offers boosters in Tyler, as well as the conscience exemption form. You may also receive the vaccination from any pharmacy in the nearby area.

The most common reasons that student documentation may not be accepted and must be resubmitted include:

  • Record is not legible – the copy is not clear or important information is cut-off, or is not in primary language of the institution.
  • Documentation is not recognized – many doctors will use their own form of abbreviation or documentation that cannot be deciphered.
  • Incomplete dates – dates must include the day, month and year
  • Invalid vaccine – documentation submitted does not include the specific type of bacterial meningitis vaccine or is for an unacceptable vaccine. 

We encourage all students to consult a physician about the importance of the vaccine as a preventative measure.

Request for Exemption from Immunizations for Reasons of Conscience
Students must use the official Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) form. The TDSHS form may be obtained from this website:  https://www.dshs.texas.gov/immunize/school/exemptions.aspx#conscience. It is then mailed from TDSHS to the student and it may take up to two weeks to receive the form.

The TDSHS form must be completed, notarized, and sent to Student Health Services within 90 days from the date it was notarized. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the TDSHS form and have it notarized. Information about requesting the TDSHS affidavit form is available here: Conscientious Objection Form

The affidavit must be completely filled out, signed in the correct areas, and notarized. Enrollment Services' One- Stop accepts originals only. Incomplete forms or photocopies will not be accepted and may delay the process of class registration.

Graduate Students:

Eligible domestic and international graduate students must submit documentation of immunization from an appropriate medical professional. Failure to provide documentation will cause delays in the registration process. Documentation must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions at least 10 days prior to the beginning of classes.

The Office of Graduate Admissions STE 345
The University of Texas at Tyler
3900 University Blvd
Tyler Texas 75799

If you are a graduate student enrolled only in online courses, please follow these instructions to release the hold (ogs@uttyler.edu or 903.566.7457).

Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is a serious infection of the fluid in the spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. The bacteria are spread by direct close contact with the discharges from the nose or throat of an infected person.

Prevention depends on the use of vaccines, rapid diagnosis and prompt treatment of close personal contacts.

More information can be found at the College Vaccine Requirements website.