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WT And AC Students To Add Cost Of Vaccine To Tuition Bill

Students at West Texas A&M and Amarillo College will now have to add in yet another fee to the price of their education this spring.A change in state law that now requires college students to be vaccinated for bacterial meningitis. And while it is meant to prevent disease it seems to be causing problems already.

“My original concerns are being confirmed,” said Bob Austin, Amarillo College vice president of student affairs. “This issue is turning out to be as challenging as we thought it was going to be or even more challenging than we thought it was going to be.”

A major issue with the vaccine is the cost. While many students struggle just to come up with the money to pay for a semester, they now have to add on another $100-$150 for the shot. But who does this new law affect ?

All students younger than 30 who enroll in college for the first time or transfer to a different
college for the spring semester will be required to show proof of vaccination, or a booster shot within the last five years, at least 10 days before the semester begins, according to the law that was changed during the spring legislative session.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

If students don’t have proof of vaccination by Jan. 7, they won’t be able to enroll until eight-week classes begin or the next semester, said Jason Norman, director of advising for Amarillo College.

The law does not apply to students who take online or distance courses, or students enrolled at the same college as the previous semester. Amarillo College estimates that this will affect up to 2,000 students on their campus. Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord that can cause severe problems such as deafness, seizures, strokes and even death. The vaccine was previously only required for students living on campus.

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