Gov. Perry lowers age-ceiling for meningitis vaccines

News Center 23

POSTED: Friday, July 5, 2013 - 5:08pm

UPDATED: Saturday, July 6, 2013 - 11:21am

“Bacterial meningitis is a young person’s illness and it’s life threatening and it can kill you within two or three days.”

The concern is legitimate. That's why Texas has required a pre-enrollment meningitis vaccination for all incoming college students under 30 years of age. But Governor Perry has agreed to lower that age ceiling from 29 to 21.

Perry signed off on the change following new studies that show students ages 16 to 21 are most at risk.

“I think it’s good that Rick Perry lowered the age limit for the vaccine. That way, people could just get the vaccine and it won’t be spread as much.”

“Because younger people are more susceptible to meningitis, Texas health officials believe that it’s a beneficial thing that incoming freshmen are required to get vaccinated before attending college in the state. However, some students have expressed concern over the cost of the vaccinations.”

“It’s more expensive and stuff so college kids will have to be wasting money and paying for something maybe they don’t want instead of like paying for books that they do need or school work or anything.”

“That age group between 18 and 22 is the highest, um, they have the highest chance of getting it, and it being so lethal. And so why make somebody from age 23 to 30 pay $100 to $130 for something that they don’t have a very high chance of getting?”

Some students may find they are covered for the cost of the vaccine under their parents' health insurance.

The age-ceiling change will take effect October 1, 2014 and will affect all students applying for college in the Spring of 2014.

Reporting from Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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