Sec. 51.9192. BACTERIAL MENINGITIS VACCINATION REQUIRED FOR CERTAIN STUDENTS; EXCEPTIONS. (a) In this section:
(1) "Health practitioner" means any person authorized by law to administer an immunization.
(2) "Institution of higher education" and "private or independent institution of higher education" have the meanings assigned by Section 61.003.
(b) This section applies only to an entering student at an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education. This section does not apply to a student of an institution who is enrolled only in online or other distance education courses or who is 22 years of age or older. For purposes of this subsection, "entering student" includes:
(1) a new student, as defined by Section 51.9191; and
(2) 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.
(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a student to whom this section applies or a parent or guardian of the student must provide to the institution, at the time and in the manner prescribed by rules adopted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, a certificate signed by a health practitioner or an official immunization record evidencing that the student has received a bacterial meningitis vaccination dose or booster during the five-year period preceding the date established by the coordinating board under Subsection (e).
(d) A student to whom this section applies or a parent or guardian of the student is not required to comply with Subsection (c) if the student or a parent or guardian of the student submits to the institution:
(1) an affidavit or a certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States in which it is stated that, in the physician's opinion, the vaccination required would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student; or
(2) an affidavit signed by the student stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief, or confirmation that the student has completed the Internet-based process described by Subsection (d-3) for declining the vaccination on that basis, if applicable to the student.
(d-1) The exemption provided by Subsection (d)(2) does not apply during a disaster or public health emergency, terrorist attack, hostile military or paramilitary action, or extraordinary law enforcement emergency declared by an appropriate official or other authority and in effect for the location of the institution the student attends.
(d-2) An affidavit submitted under Subsection (d)(2) must be:
(1) on a form described by Section 161.0041, Health and Safety Code; and
(2) submitted to the appropriate admitting official not later than the 90th day after the date the affidavit is notarized.
(d-3) The Department of State Health Services shall develop and implement a secure, Internet-based process to be used exclusively at those public junior colleges that elect to use the process to allow an entering student to apply online for an exemption from the vaccination requirement under this section for reasons of conscience. The online process portal must be designed to ensure that duplicate exemption requests are avoided to the greatest extent possible. The exemption form used by a student to claim an exemption under the process must contain a statement indicating that the student understands the benefits and risks of the immunization and the benefits and risks of not receiving the immunization.
(d-4) A public junior college may require an entering student to use the Internet-based process under Subsection (d-3) as the exclusive method to apply for an exemption from the vaccination required under this section for reasons of conscience.
(d-5) The Department of State Health Services shall report to the legislature annually the number of exemptions applied for in the preceding academic year using the Internet-based process under Subsection (d-3).
(d-6) An institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education shall provide, with the registration materials that the institution provides to a student to whom this section applies before the student's initial enrollment in the institution, written notice of the right of the student or of a parent or guardian of the student to claim an exemption from the vaccination requirement in the manner prescribed by Subsection (d) and of the importance of consulting a physician about the need for immunization to prevent the disease.
(e) The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, in consultation with institutions of higher education and private or independent institutions of higher education, shall adopt rules for the administration of this section, including rules establishing the date by which a student who is required to comply with Subsection (c) must have received the vaccination required by that subsection, which may not be later than the 10th day before the first day of the semester or other term in which the student initially enrolls unless the student is granted an extension by the institution as provided by the rules adopted under this subsection. The rules must authorize an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education to extend the compliance date for an individual student to a date that is not later than the 10th day after the first day of the semester or other term in which the student initially enrolls.
(f) In this section, "public junior college" has the meaning assigned by Section 61.003.
Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1015 (H.B. 4189), Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 142 (S.B. 1107), Sec. 2, eff. May 27, 2011.
Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 729 (S.B. 62), Sec. 1, eff. October 1, 2013.Section: Previous 51.913 51.914 51.915 51.917 51.918 51.919 51.9191 51.9192 51.9193 51.9194 51.9195 51.920 51.9201 51.921 51.922 Next
Last modified: September 28, 2016