Meningitis is a very serious bacterial disease and New York State public health Law 2167 requires that all degree-seeking students at a university or college receive information about it. The Meningitis Response Form is included in the series of health and medical forms.
All students must formally decide to do one of the following:
- Receive the meningitis vaccination within thirty (30) days of the date next to their signature on the Meningitis Response Form; or
- Indicate that they have received the meningococcal vaccine within the past ten years and attach the vaccine record; or
- Decline receipt of the vaccination after receiving information about the meningococcal disease risks.
The meningitis vaccine is not required, but is strongly recommended for the following individuals:
- College freshmen who are living in the dormitories and are living away from home for the first time
- U.S. military
- Anyone traveling in parts of the world where meningitis is common, e.g., Africa
- Anyone whose spleen has been removed or damaged
- Anyone who has a compromised immune system, e.g., because of HIV/AIDS or lupus
- Any other adult wishing to reduce the risk of contracting meningococcal disease