UF closer to requiring meningitis, hepatitis B vaccines

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 5:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 5:01 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida universities would have to require all new students not just those living in dorms to be vaccinated against meningitis and hepatitis B under a rule that won preliminary approval Thursday from the Board of Governors.

Currently, universities are allowed to require vaccinations for dorm students. If the new measure gains final approval, universities would have to extend it to all students.

There would be an opt-out provision, allowing students or their parents if they're a minor, to say they understand the danger and choose not to get the shots.

The proposal still must be subjected to a public comment period and needs final approval with another vote by the board. If approved, it would take effect July 1 of this year.

The state universities' vaccination policies came under scrutiny in September after a University of South Florida sophomore died of meningitis. At the time, only students living in dorms at USF were required to be vaccinated. This semester, the requirement at the Tampa school has been extended to all campus residences, including fraternity and sorority houses, but still doesn't cover students living off-campus.

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