State Lawmakers Require Meningitis Vaccine for College Freshmen

There are just under 3,000 cases of meningitis reported in the U.S. each year. Photo Credit World Health Organization

There are just under 3,000 cases of meningitis reported in the U.S. each year. Photo Credit World Health Organization

Almost all incoming freshman will have to get one more vaccination to enroll in Tennessee’s public universities this fall. The immunization will fight bacterial meningitis, a sometimes deadly disease which has been found to spread easily in the close quarters of college dormitories.

Mandating the meningitis vaccination had almost unanimous support from state lawmakers in the House and Senate.

Representative Craig Fitzugh of Ripley is the Democrat who sponsored the bill.

“We think that what we did as a legislature today goes a long way in preventing needless deaths and protects our most precious commodity, and that’s our children and our students at public universities,” he said.

The “Jacob Nunley Act” was named for an MTSU student who died last year from a bacterial meningitis infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tennessee is now the 16th state to require meningitis vaccines for college students.

Chelsea Mihelich

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