The University of Texas at Austin - What Starts Here Changes The World
The University of Texas at Austin Division of Student Affairs
Navigation Menu
healthyhorns.utexas.edu

Meningococcal (Bacterial Meningitis) Vaccine Requirement for Entering UT Students

UT Austin Requirement

Entering students will not be allowed to register for classes, even during orientation sessions, until University Health Services (UHS) has received and processed documentation showing that you have complied with the following law.

The Law

All students entering a public, private, or independent institution of higher education in Texas must provide documentation that they have had a meningococcal (bacterial meningitis) vaccine or "booster" dose during the five year period prior to but no later than ten days before the first day of the first semester they will enter that institution. Find exclusions and possible exemptions in Who below.

Check your shot records. You may need another shot to comply. Do not submit your documentation until you are admitted.

Entering spring 2014 - vaccine must be on or after 1/13/09

Entering summer 2014 - vaccine must be on or after 6/5/09

Entering fall 2014 - vaccine must be on or after 8/27/09

Attention International Students

You must comply with additional medical clearance requirements before you can register. Do not send any medical requirement-related documentation to UHS even though you will continue to get emails from Admissions saying you are not in compliance. Instead, hand-deliver your documents to UHS as soon as you get to Austin.

Additional Medical Requirements for ALL International Students

who

what

Acceptable documentation to prove that you've met the meningococcal vaccine requirement.

what

when

Who Must Comply and Who is Exempt

Please submit your documentation to UHS as soon as you are admitted AND have decided to come to UT Austin, but at least two weeks before your intended registration date (even if that date is during a new student orientation session).

Students who must comply with this requirement and those who are exempt.

Unless exempted as noted below, the following students must comply with this requirement.
  • All first-time students at UT Austin.
  • All students who are transferring from any institution of higher education to UT Austin.
  • All students who previously attended UT Austin and who are enrolling following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester. (Students who complete a spring semester at UT Austin, are not enrolled for the summer at UT Austin, and who return in the fall are considered "continuing students" and are not included in this requirement). Acceptable documentation to prove you have met the meningococcal vaccine requirement.
You are EXEMPT from this requirement and do not have to submit any documentation to University Health Services if:
  • You are entering in January 2014 or thereafter and will be age 22 or older on the first day of classes of the semester in which you are entering.
First Class Days:
1/13/14 - for spring 2014
6/5/14 - for summer 2014
8/27/14 - for fall 2014
  • You will be enrolled only in online or distance education courses. You do not have to submit any documentation to UHS.
  • You cannot take the vaccine because of medical reasons. Before you will be allowed to register for classes, UHS must receive specific, acceptable documentation to substantiate this reason. Acceptable documentation to prove you cannot take the meningococcal vaccine for health reasons.
  • You decline the vaccine due to reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. Before you can register for classes, UHS must receive a specific, original, completed and notarized Texas Department of State Health Services exemption form. Find instructions for requesting the form in the "Other Institutions of Higher Education" section of College Vaccine Requirements.

Acceptable documentation to prove that you've met the meningococcal vaccine requirement

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 of your most recent meningococcal vaccination or booster dose;
  • an official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority that includes the same information as above; or
  • an official record issued from school officials, including a record from another state, that includes the same information as above.
Documentation must be in English and include your full name and date of birth. Write your UT EID and the semester you are entering UT Austin (e.g. spring, summer, or fall 2014) on all pages of your documentation before submitting it.

Time frame for submitting your documentation

Acceptable documentation to prove inability to receive the meningococcal vaccine because of medical reasons.

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.

Documentation must be in English and include your full name and date of birth. Write your UT EID and the semester you are entering UT Austin (e.g. spring, summer or fall 2014) on all pages of your documentation before submitting it.

Time frame for submitting your documentation

back to top

Declining the meningococcal vaccine for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. Sole form of acceptable documentation.

You are strongly encouraged to consult with a physician about the need for immunization against bacterial meningitis before requesting this exemption.

  • Students entering January 2014 and thereafter - submit to UHS a completed and notarized ORIGINAL Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) Vaccine Exemption Form by U.S. Mail or other shipping service or by hand delivery. Emails, faxes, and copies are not acceptable. The law regarding acceptable exemption forms for reasons of conscience has changed effective January 2014, and this is the ONLY form that can be accepted at UT Austin. Request this form well before your registration date, The form cannot be accepted if more than 90 days have passed since the date it was notarized.
  • Request the Texas Department of State Health Services Exemption Form Write your UT EID and the semester you are entering UT Austin on this form (e.g. summer or fall 2014) before submitting it.

    Time frame for submitting your documentation

    Time frame for submitting required documentation to UHS

    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.

    Submit your documentation only after you have been admitted to UT Austin. This requirement is not part of your admission process, but non-compliance will prevent you from registering for classes.

    Submit your documentation to UHS at least two weeks before your intended registration date, even if your registration date is during an orientation session, to prevent registration delays.

    INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: You can bring your documentation to UHS as soon as you arrive in Austin.

    This information is subject to change. Please do not reproduce online or in print.

    How to submit your documentation to UHS

    Keep a hard copy of any meningococcal vaccine-related documentation you submit to UHS and bring it with you to campus (and to any orientation classes).

    PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR DOCUMENTATION BY MORE THAN ONE METHOD (E.G. BY EMAIL AND FAX). It will not increase the speed with which your documents are processed. In fact, doing so will slow processing time and delay bar removals.

    NOTE: Submission methods may change depending upon the time of year. Don't be concerned if the information in this section changes after you submit your documentation.

    By U.S. Mail:
    ATTN: Immunization Compliance
    The University of Texas at Austin
    University Health Services
    P.O. Box 7339
    Austin, TX 78713-7339

    • Write your full name, EID, the semester you're entering (e.g. spring or summer 2014) and your email address on your documents
    • IMPORTANT: If you are attending a New Student Orientation session over the summer, write the date it starts on the outside of your envelope (e.g. "6/5/14 Orientation").
    • READMITTED STUDENTS, also write "Readmit" on the outside of your envelope.

    By email: Attach your documents to an email sent to imm@uhs.utexas.edu. Sending documents as a PDF is strongly preferred, but please do not send images taken by your phone or other digital camera.

    • READMITTED STUDENTS, write "Readmit Vaccine" in the subject line.
    • IMPORTANT: If you are attending a New Student Orientation session over the summer, write the date it starts in the subject line USING THIS FORMAT: "6/5/14 Orientation."
    • Include your full name, EID and the semester you're entering (e.g. summer or fall 2013) in the text of your email AND on your actual documentation before scanning it.

    By FAX:
    512-475-8288
    During rush periods, you may receive busy signals before being able to complete your fax. Please plan accordingly.

    • READMITTED STUDENTS, also write "Readmit."Write your full name, EID and the semester you are entering (e.g. summer or fall 2014 and the date of the first day of any New Student Orientation Session you will attend this summer (e.g. "6/5/14 orientation") on your cover sheet or faxed document.

    Hand Delivery
    Student Services Building (SSB)
    100 West Dean Keaton St.
    Austin, Texas 78705
    Second floor - Allergy Shot / Immunization clinic
    See Hours

    • See "By US Mail" above for instructions on what to write on your documentation.

    This information is subject to change. Please do not reproduce online or in print.

    How to check whether your documentation has been processed and your registration bar has been removed.

    During rush times, it may take a couple of weeks for your documentation to be processed once it's received.

    To check if your medical bar has been removed, log in to your Registration Information Sheet (RIS) to see if you still have a "medical" registration bar. This bar will go away once your documentation has been processed.

    IF YOUR BAR IS STILL THERE:

    • Your documentation may not have been processed yet if it's been less than two weeks since you submitted it.
    • There could be a problem with your documentation that would keep your "medical" registration bar from being removed.
      • You will be sent an email from imm@uhs.utexas.edu informing you if this is the case.
      • To see if you've possibly missed such an email, search all of your applicable email inboxes and junk mailboxes for imm@uhs.utexas.edu. If you sent your information via email, search that address. If you sent it by paper fax or regular mail, search the email address you have listed as your official UT email address.
    • If you don't have a "problem" email from UHS and it's been longer than two weeks since you submitted your documentation, you can call (512) 475-8799 to check the status of your documentation.
    INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: A "medical" bar on your RIS could mean that you're out of compliance with meningococcal vaccine; proof of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella; and/or the tuberculosis screening test.

    back to top

    Where you can get the meningococcal vaccine (including those without insurance)

    Getting meningococcal vaccine at UHS:

    Admitted students can schedule an online appointment to get the meningococcal vaccine at UHS. They can also call (512)471-4955.

    Neither parents nor anyone else can schedule an appointment for a student. They must schedule it themselves.

    BE ADVISED: UHS has a finite number of immunization appointments, and you may not be able to get the vaccine at UHS if you wait until the last minute to do so. Being unable to schedule an appointment at UHS (or any other facility) in time to meet registration deadlines will not be considered a valid reason for a waiver of this requirement).

    If you don't have health insurance, or if your insurance will not pay for a meningococcal vaccine administered at UHS, you will qualify for a self-pay discount and pay $140 plus a $14 administration fee for the vaccine. NOTE: Even if UHS takes your insurance, there is no guarantee that your insurance company will pay for a meningococcal vaccine. Contact your insurance company directly to see if they will pay for a meningococcal vaccine administered to someone your age at University Health Services.

    Find out if UHS takes (is in network with) your insurance.
    UHS Charges Policy (pdf)

    Other resources for getting the vaccine

    You can get the meningococcal vaccine at most doctors' offices and private clinics, many large pharmacy chains, and some minor emergency centers or walk-in retail 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 full-service Texas city/county health departments offer free or low-cost meningococcal vaccine as part of children immunization programs for those 18 or younger. A few may offer the vaccine for those over 18.
    "Full Service" City/County Health Departments in Texas
    Austin/Travis County "Shots for Tots" 18 and under Program Locations

    More Information about the Disease and the Vaccine

    Vaccine Information
    Information about Meningococcal Disease (Bacterial Meningitis)