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On July 22, 2003, Governor Pataki signed New York State Public Health Law (NYS PHL) 2167 requiring colleges and universities to distribute information about meningococcal disease and vaccination to all students meeting the enrollment criteria, whether they live on or off campus. This law became effective on August 15, 2003.

Meningococcal disease or meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person's spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. Meningitis is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Its flu-like symptoms make diagnosis difficult. Viral meningitis is generally less severe and resolves without specific treatment, while bacterial meningitis can be quite severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disability.

Some forms of bacterial meningitis are contagious. The bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (i.e., coughing, kissing). Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as things like the common cold or the flu, and they are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been. However, sometimes the bacteria that cause meningitis have spread to other people who have had close or prolonged contact with a patient with meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis (also called meningococcal meningitis) or Hib.

Bacterial meningitis can be treated with a number of effective antibiotics. It is important, however, that treatment be started early in the course of the disease. Appropriate antibiotic treatment of most common types of bacterial meningitis should reduce the risk of dying from meningitis to below 15%, although the risk is higher among the elderly.

The cost of the vaccine usually ranges from $60.00 to $85.00. Please check with your doctor for details.

You can find additional information about the disease at 

 

Form Completion

Please make sure you complete and return the meningococcal Meningitis Response Form within 30 days of the beginning of the semester. Please note that according to NYS Public Health Law, no institution shall permit any student to attend the institution in excess of 30 days without complying with this law.

Immunization Requirements

New York State law requires all students enrolled for six or more credits must be in full compliance with State Immunization requirements. Immunization compliance is outlined as follows: Students must submit proof of one MMR and submission of completed Meningitis Form prior to starting classes. The remaining immunization documentation must be submitted within 30 days of the start of term. 

If documentation is not submitted, the respective student will not be permitted to continue attending classes, will be dropped from his/her classes will be responsible for tuition liability.  

The above detailed immunization requirements may be met in the following manner:

Meet Immunization Requirements

Meningococcal Meningitis:

New York Public Health Law requires the College to distribute information about Meningococcal Meningitis disease and vaccination to all students registered for six or more credits. Respective student(s) are required to confirm whether or not he/she decide to become immunized (or not). Students are required to confirm their decision with the College in writing. The completed form is to be submitted to the Office of Student Services or may be completed electronically via Mercy Connect. Electronic documents submitted via Mercy Connect will be accepted as the student signature.

Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR):

New York Public Health Law requires that all college students born after December 31, 1956, taking six or more credits in a term, provide documentation of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella prior to the first term of study. The following additional information details the requirements for the MMR:

  • Measles: Two doses required
    • First Dose must be after the age of 12 months
    • Second Dose must be administered more than 30 days after the first dose and after the age of 15 months.  
    • Alternative to immunization documents, the student may present medical proof of the disease or laboratory proof of immunity (students must submit a copy of lab report)
  • Mumps: One dose required
    • One dose administered after the age of 12 months or laboratory proof of immunity (students must submit a copy of lab report)
  • Rubella: One dose required
    • One dose administered after the age of 12 months or laboratory proof of immunity (students must submit a copy of lab report)

The MMR combined vaccination fulfills the requirement for one dose of the measlesone mumps and one rubella immunization. However, a second measles vaccine administered at least 30 days after the first (MMR) dose is required.