No Vaccines No Class

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 12:24pm

College offers alternatives to students who don't have newly required vaccines.

Collin College is offering alternatives for students who have not gotten newly required meningitis vaccinations.

Texas law now requires new and transfer students younger than 30 years old to be vaccinated for bacterial meningitis.

As hundreds of students lined up to register for classes at the Spring Creek Campus in Plano, many were turned away because they could not provide proof that they had received the shot.

“I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal,” said Dovie Lee, a Collin County transfer student.

Collin County is offering alternatives such as online classes and express courses with later start dates to students who do not have the vaccination.

But some people say they worry the cost of the vaccine or its availability could keep some students from finishing their education.

“If I can’t sit in a classroom, I won’t be able to do it this semester,” Lee said.

Supplies of a low-cost vaccine ran out Friday at the Dallas County Health and Human Services department, leaving students with a $150 option.

Collin College representatives say they don’t expect a major decrease in enrollment.

At Passport Health in Plano, the phone has been ringing off the hook, especially as the deadline for registration approached.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people calling for meningitis vaccinations,” said Arthur Dawson, Passport's executive director.

State law offers limited exemptions to the vaccination requirement, and most colleges do not require proof of vaccination for students enrolled exclusively online.


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