AUSTIN, Texas (Feb. 22, 2011) — Today, Rep. Ron Reynolds (D – District 27, Fort Bend) filed HB 1557 requiring all incoming college students to be vaccinated for bacterial meningitis. Currently, only students who live on campus in student housing are required to get the meningococcal vaccine.
Last week, a Texas A&M junior from Sugar Land, Texas, who did not live on campus, suffered from bacterial meningitis and died in a College Station hospital. “When a student dies from the area I represent, it really hits home that we need to change the law to include that all college students need to be vaccinated,” said Rep. Reynolds. Since the student was not living in a dorm on campus, he was not required to be vaccinated. Rep. Reynolds said, “We need to pass this bill to save lives on college campuses and HB 1557 will help accomplish that.”
Bacterial meningitis is an inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord, but the early symptoms can mimic the flu. According to the CDC, about 10 percent of people who get infected with bacterial meningitis die, in spite of treatment with antibiotics. Even students who do not live in a dorm are at risk since they are still in close proximity to other students in the classroom, the library and other campus settings.
“I am appreciative that Chairman Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) has joint authored this legislation with me, and I look forward to working with him in a by-partisan manner to pass this important life saving legislation,” Rep. Reynolds concluded.
About State Representative Ron Reynolds
Ron Reynolds is State Representative for District 27 of Fort Bend County in Texas. Rep. Reynolds serves on the Economic and Small Business Development and Environmental Regulation committees. He is a former Associate Municipal Judge for The City of Houston. For more information, please visit: www.ronaldreynolds.com