Bacterial Meningitis Information

Bacterial Meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease characterized by high fever, severe headaches, rash or purple patches on skin, vomiting, light sensitivity, stiff neck, confusion and sleepiness, nausea, lethargy and seizures. For more information on the disease, visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccination Requirement

During the Spring 2011 Texas legislative session, Texas Senate Bill 1107 (SB 1107) was passed and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry. Effective January 1, 2012, SB 1107 requires all students (under age 22) entering an institution of higher education (public and private) to either receive a vaccination against bacterial meningitis or meet certain criteria for declining such a vaccination at least 10 days before the first day of classes. To help ensure compliance, Howard Payne University is requiring all entering students — and former students who are returning to HPU after at least one semester’s absence — to provide the appropriate documentation before being allowed to schedule classes.

Texas House Bill 1107 (entire text)

Evidence of Vaccination

For Howard Payne University’s purposes, Evidence of Vaccination must verify that the vaccination was received before a student is allowed to schedule classes. If a student schedules his/her classes last-minute, the vaccination must have been received at least 10 days prior to the first day of the semester and must be submitted in one of the following four formats:

1. A document bearing the signature or stamp of the physician or his/her designee, or public health personnel (must include the month, day and year the vaccination was administered)
2. An official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority (must include the month, day and year the vaccination was administered)
3. An official record received from school officials, including a record from another state (must include the month, day, and year the vaccination was administered)
4. A completed copy of the HPU Student Health Form (paper version)

Evidence to Decline Vaccination

Evidence to Decline Vaccination must be submitted in one of the following three formats:

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. For Students Living On Campus: An affidavit signed by the student stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. A conscientious exemption form from the Texas Department of State Health Services must be used. Please allow several weeks for delivery.
3. For Students Living Off Campus: An affidavit signed by the student stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. A conscientious exemption form from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board may be used.

Note: Students who enroll exclusively in online courses are exempt from the requirement, as are students who are at least 30 years old by the first day of classes for their entering term.

Important Considerations

  • You are strongly encouraged to obtain the bacterial meningitis vaccination before entering the United States or planning your trip to HPU to schedule classes.
  • You will not be allowed to schedule classes until you provide proof of vaccination. Most entering students for the fall semester attend Stinger Daze in April or a Day 1 session in May, June or July. It is highly recommended to submit your vaccination record before these events.
  • The bacterial meningitis vaccination must be administered by a Health Practitioner authorized by law to administer an immunization.
  • Vaccinations older than 5 years will require a booster.
  • The bacterial meningitis vaccination is available at most large-scale pharmacy health clinics.
  • The cost of the bacterial meningitis vaccination may be cheaper through your current physician.
  • All students must receive the bacterial meningitis vaccination no later than 10 days prior to the start of the semester.

How to Submit Evidence of Vaccination or an Affidavit to Decline Vaccination

Shot records should be mailed, faxed, e-mailed or hand-delivered to the University Nurse. An original Affidavit for Exemption must be mailed or hand-delivered only.

Mail: University Nurse, 1000 Fisk Street, Brownwood, TX 76801
Fax: (325) 649-8819
E-mail: jskaggs@hputx.edu
Hand Delivery: Office of Student Life, Mabee University Center