What If I Am An International Student
Im an international student. Will a vaccination from my home country fulfill UHs requirement?
Yes, a vaccination record from a country outside the U.S. will meet the requirements. If the vaccination record is in a language other than English, we will need an English translation of the document.
How far in advance should I plan to arrive in the U.S.. in order to receive the vaccine/booster shot?
If you plan to receive the vaccine in the U.S., you should arrive no later than 2 weeks prior to the first day of classes. You must receive the vaccination at least 10 days before the first day of classes for the semester, and you will be required to wait 10 days after your vaccination date to move into campus housing.
As an international student, can I present medical documentation from my country in order to get an exemption due to medical reasons?
Unfortunately, the law requires that you visit a doctor in the U.S.. to be able to get an exemption for medical reasons. We recommend that you bring an English translation of your records with you, so that you can present them to a U.S. physician. You will need to make sure that your travel arrangements will give you sufficient time to visit a doctor in the U.S.
As an international student, how can I get an exemption for reasons of conscience?
You must follow the same guidelines and procedures outlined for domestic students. Please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services for more information.
Why Do I Need The Vaccine
Because you may participate in the following behaviors and others not listed that put you at a significantly greater risk than other college students of getting this contagious disease:
- Live in group housing,
- Kiss a boyfriend or girlfriend
- Smoke or inhale secondhand smoke
- Irregular sleep or eating habits
Does The Vaccine Protect Against All Types Of Meningitis
Up to 83% of meningococcal disease in college students is caused by strains of bacteria, or Neisseria Meningitis that are potentially vaccine-preventable. That is why the CDC, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices , American College Health Association , and many schools require or recommend meningococcal vaccination for their students. Because it does not cover all strains of Neisseria Meningitis, it is important to know the warning signs and see a physician if they occur. Most but not all are strains are prevented by currently available vaccines.
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What Happens After The Immunization
Your child might have a fever, soreness, and some swelling and redness at the injection area. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever and to find out the right dose.
A warm, damp cloth or a heating pad on the injection site may help reduce soreness, as can moving or using the arm.
Important Considerations About Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination:
- Bacterial Meningitis vaccination must be received at least 10 days prior to the start of the semester. The vaccination must be no more than 5 years old from the date you first enroll. Vaccinations older than 5 years will require a booster.
- All documents should include the student’s name and date of birth.
- International students are strongly encouraged to obtain the Bacterial Meningitis vaccination before entering the United States or moving to the Laredo area.
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Global Public Health Response Elimination Of Meningococcal A Meningitis Epidemics In The African Meningitis Belt
In the African meningitis belt, meningococcus serogroup A accounted for 8085% of meningitis epidemics before the introduction of a meningococcal A conjugate vaccine through mass preventive campaigns and into routine immunization programmes . As of April 2021, 24 of the 26 countries in the meningitis belt have conducted mass preventive campaigns targeting 1-29 year olds , and half of them have introduced this vaccine into their national routine immunization schedules. Among vaccinated populations, incidence of serogroup A meningitis has declined by more than 99% – no serogroup A case has been confirmed since 2017. Continuing introduction into routine immunization programmes and maintaining high coverage is critical to avoid the resurgence of epidemics.
Cases of meningitis and outbreaks due to other meningococcal serogroups, apart from serogroup B, continue to strike. The roll out of multivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccines is a public health priority to eliminate bacterial meningitis epidemics in the African Meningitis Belt.
The pneumococcus has over 97 serotypes, 23 causing most disease.
Haemophilus influenzae has 6 serotypes, serotype b causing most meningitis.
- Conjugate vaccines protect specifically against Haemophilus influenzae serotype b . They are highly effective in preventing Hib disease and are recommended for routine use in infant vaccine schedules.
Group B streptococcus
Potential Serious Side Effect
Very rarely, serious side effects can occur with any vaccine. Speak with your healthcare provider immediately if you or your child experience:
- Dizziness, ringing in the ears, or vision changes after the vaccine is administered. This could indicate that you are going to faint.
- Severe pain in your shoulder or trouble moving your arm where the shot was administered.
- Symptoms of an allergic reaction, including changes to breathing. This can happen even hours after a shot is given.
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What Are The Acceptable Forms Of Evidence
- A containing the required information with the signature or stamp of a physician or his/her designee, or public health personnel*. The form must be completed fully, including the month, day, and year the vaccination dose or booster was administered.
- An official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority. Documentation must be in English and submitted with the .
- An official record received from school officials, including a record from another state
All documentation must include the month, date, and year that the vaccine or booster dose was administered.
*Please read the compliance form instructions carefully. All students must choose either option 1 or 2 and fully complete the document. The must have the health professional’s signature and credentials and be submitted with attachments to UH.
Who Is At Most Risk For Meningococcal Disease
High-risk groups include anyone with a damaged spleen or whose spleen has been removed, those with persistent complement component deficiency , HIV infection, those traveling to countries where meningococcal disease is very common, microbiologists who routinely work with the bacteria and people who may have been exposed to meningococcal disease during an outbreak. People who live in certain settings such as college dormitories and military housing are also at greater risk of disease from some serotypes.
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Where Do I Send The Required Documentation
For faster processing, write your myUH ID number on the top right corner of each document submitted.
in your myUH self-service account.
*Note: Conscience Objector Affidavits from the Texas Department of State Health Services are NOT accepted through your myUH self-service account or by email or fax. These affidavits must be original documents submitted in person or by mail.
Important Information About Bacterial Meningitis
- Rash or purple patches on skin
There may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots caused by bleeding under the skin. These can occur anywhere on the body. The more symptoms, the higher the risk, so when these symptoms appear seek immediate medical attention.
- Diagnosis is made by a medical provider and is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results from spinal fluid and blood tests.
- Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.
- Exposure to saliva by sharing cigarettes, water bottles, eating utensils, food, kissing, etc.
- Living in close conditions
- Permanent brain damage
- Limb damage that requires amputation
- Antibiotic treatment, if received early, can save lives and chances of recovery are increased. However, permanent disability or death can still occur.
- Vaccinations are available and should be considered for:
- Those living in close quarters
- College students 25 years old or younger
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Preparing Your Child For Vaccines
Getting a vaccine can be stressful for some children. With some preparation and kid-friendly explanation, parents can help to make vaccine visits easier and less stressful. Talk to your health care provider or health unit if you have any questions about the vaccine your child will receive.
Prepare your child before the visit. Be honest. Explain that shots can pinch or sting, but that it wont hurt for long. Tell your child that vaccines are important to keep them healthy.
For younger children
- Hold your child or cuddle them on your lap.
- Use distractions like toys, bubbles, and books.
For older children
- Older children can use distractions like games, books, music, and talking about something unrelated to the vaccination. Deep breathing and/or counting, as well as keeping the arm relaxed and still may help to make the shot easier.
- For children getting their shots at school clinics, tell them to let the nurse know if they feel nervous about getting vaccinated or if they feel faint or light-headed before, during, or after the vaccination. The clinic staff can help them through the process.
Ask your health care provider or local public health unit about using topical anesthetics .
Submitting Proof Of Vaccination
Do not submit your vaccination proof to Undergraduate Admissions or the Student Health Center.
Texas State uses Magnus Health SMR for managing compliance with the meningitis vaccination requirement. New students planning to enroll at Texas State must submit proof of meningitis vaccination directly to Magnus Health SMR. Students subject to the bacterial meningitis requirement will receive an email from Magnus Health SMR with instructions. Students will be charged $10 by Magnus Health SMR for processing the documents and verifying compliance with the vaccination requirement. Acceptable evidence of vaccination may include any of the following:
- An official immunization record from a government health authority .
- An official immunization record received from school officials, including a record from another state .
- Students using a pharmacy should download and provide the pharmacist with the generic immunization form available on the Magnus website, once they have paid their processing fee, to ensure they receive an approvable document from the pharmacist . H-E-B customers should request their Vaccine Administration Consent Form for submission to Magnus.
- All records must be in English to be approved.
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Is Meningococcal Disease Serious
Meningococcal meningitis and bloodstream infections can be very serious, even deadly. The infections progress quickly. Someone can go from being healthy to very ill in 48 hours or less. Even if they get treatment, about 10 to 15 out of 100 people with meningococcal disease will die from it. Long-term disabilities from having meningococcal disease include loss of limbs, deafness, nervous system problems, and brain damage.
When Are Meningococcal Vaccines Given
Vaccination with MenACWY is recommended:
- when kids are 11 or 12 years old, with a booster given at age 16
- for teens 1318 years old who haven’t been vaccinated yet
Those who have their first dose between the ages of 1315 should get a booster dose between the ages of 1618. Teens who get their first dose after age 16 won’t need a booster dose.
Kids and teens who are at higher risk for meningococcal disease need the full series of MenACWY vaccines, even if they’re younger than 11 years old. This includes kids who:
- live in or travel to countries where the disease is common
- are present during an outbreak of the disease
- have some kinds of immune disorders. If the immune disorders are chronic, these kids also need a booster dose a few years later, depending on their age at the first dose.
The sequence and dosage depends on the child’s age, medical condition, and vaccine brand. Some types of meningococcal vaccines can be given as early as 8 weeks of age.
Kids 10 years and older with these risk factors also should get the MenB vaccine. They’ll need 2 or 3 doses depending on the brand. They might need more booster doses as long as the risk factor remains.
For those without risk factors, the decision to receive the MenB vaccine should be made together by teens, their parents, and the doctor. For them, the preferred age range is 1618 years. Usually, they need 2 doses.
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High Risk Groups For Meningococcal Disease
Other people are not funded under the National Immunisation Program and will require a prescription to purchase the meningococcal vaccines. If you are in one of the following high-risk groups, speak to your doctor about which vaccines you should have, the number of doses required and how long protection will last:
- infants and young children, particularly those aged less than two years
- adolescents aged 15 to 19 years
- people who have close household contact with those who have meningococcal disease and who have not been immunised
- people who smoke and are aged 15 to 24 years
- people who are travelling to places, such as sub-Saharan Africa, that have epidemics caused by serogroups A, C, W and Y
- pilgrims to the annual Hajj in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabian authorities require a valid certificate of vaccination to enter the country
- people who work in a laboratory and who handle meningococcal bacteria
- people with HIV
- people who have had a haematopoietic stem cell transplant.
Children In Licensed Daycare Centres
If you want your child to attend daycare, and decide not to vaccinate them due to medical, religious or philosophical reasons, you will need to give your daycare a valid written exemption. If the disease appears in your childs daycare centre, your child may have to stay out of daycare until the disease is no longer present.
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How Common Is Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal disease is becoming much less common. Over the past 20 years, the overall incidence of meningococcal disease in the US has declined 10-fold. Twenty years ago in Massachusetts there were 80-100 cases of meningococcal disease per year. In contrast, for the past decade the average is approximately 12 cases per year. Declining rates of meningococcal disease may be due in part to the introduction of meningococcal vaccines as well as other factors such as the decline in cigarette smoking, which may impact susceptibility to this disease.
Why You Should Vaccinate
Infectious diseases can spread among children and adolescents at school who are not vaccinated. As a parent, you can keep your kids healthy with routine health care and vaccines. Make sure your school-age children are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
Infection from certain diseases can kill or seriously harm your child. Vaccines use weakened or killed virus or bacteria to trigger your childs natural immune response to provide long-term protection against a disease . It is like a rehearsal for the immune system, so your child is prepared if they are exposed to the “real” disease.
Vaccinations are safe
Vaccinations do not cause autism.
Scientific studies and reviews continue to show no relationship between vaccines and autism.
Some people wont develop immunity to a disease after being vaccinated, but the vaccine itself cannot infect someone. If a vaccinated individual does contract a disease which they were vaccinated against, their illness will be less severe.
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Acadia University Students Get Meningitis B Vaccine To Honour Late Classmate
Kai Matthews’s parents looked out over the faces of Acadia University students in front of them, moments away from receiving the vaccine for meningitis B that could have saved their son’s life.
Matthews died in June after contracting an infection caused by the bacteria called meningococcal type B. The 19-year-old Halifax man had just finished his first year studying kinesiology at Acadia.
On Friday, 121 students rolled up their sleeves as Matthews’s parents helped launch a vaccine program on campus.
“It’s unimaginable to lose a child, especially to a preventable disease. The only way we can wrap our heads around it is try to make something good come out of that,” his father Norrie said Friday alongside his wife Kari as students lined up for the shot behind them.
“It’s just a lot of love in this room, a lot of strength, a lot of honouring of Kai.”
Kai’s family first spoke out this summer about the importance of the vaccine and knowing the symptoms of meningitis B, since they had no idea what was originally wrong with him. They said about 16 hours passed between the first time Kai was brought to the ER and when he was given antibiotics.
They soon launched a campaign and website, B for Kai, to share his story and let people know that meningitis B can quickly turn fatal. Statistics show one in 10 people who contract meningitis B will die from it.
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Where Can I Find These Vaccines
Your doctor is usually the best place to receive recommended vaccines for you or your child. These vaccines are part of the routine childhood immunization schedule. Therefore, vaccines for children and teens are regularly available at
- Pediatric and family practice offices
- Community health clinics
If your doctor does not have these vaccines for adults, ask for a referral.
Vaccines may also be available at
- Health departments
- Other community locations, such as schools and religious centers
You can also contact your state health department to learn more about where to get vaccines in your community.
When receiving any vaccine, ask the provider to record the vaccine in the state or local vaccine registry, if available. This helps providers at future visits know what vaccines you or your child have already received.
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