Katy-area Randalls stores are making it easier for new college students to meet the recently updated vaccine requirements of colleges and universities by offering the meningococcal vaccine on a “walk-in” basis at Randalls pharmacies.
As of Jan. 1, all entering college and university students are required to show proof of an initial meningococcal vaccination or a booster dose during the five-year period before enrolling. They must get the vaccine at least 10 days before the semester begins.
“We have made the process of getting your college kids up to date on their vaccinations convenient. Students can get vaccinated while you shop for groceries,” said Paul McTavish, Randalls president.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the following students will need to get the meningococcal vaccine before school starts:
- a first-time student of an institution of higher education, or a transfer student
- a student who previously attended an institution of higher education before Jan. 1, 2012, who is enrolling in the same or another institution of higher education following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester
The meningococcal bacteria is a relatively rare but potentially fatal disease that causes meningitis which affects the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Infection can progress to death within 24 to 48 hours, or lead to permanent disabilities such as hearing loss, brain damage, or loss of limbs.
The bacteria is spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions. Persons who live or work in close quarters with others such as college students are at higher risk.