State education leaders seek meningitis protection for students

September 27, 2007

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - State universities could require incoming students to be vaccinated for meningitis under a recommendation to the state in the wake of a University of South Florida student dying from the infection.

Health directors in the state's university system met yesterday to discuss what may need to be done to better protect students against the contagious deadly bacterial infection.

The group is recommending to the Board of Governors that it ask the Legislature to change the law next year to require nearly all students coming to a university be vaccinated against the disease.

Currently, universities may only require students who live in college dormitories to be vaccinated, although the law says they must be allowed to sign a waiver and opt out.

The panel says the opt out provision also ought to be carefully examined.