GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Students planning to attend college in Pennsylvania this fall must be vaccinated against meningococcal disease, commonly known as meningitis, if they will live in college housing.
State Rep. Dick Stevenson of Grove City, R-8th, said The College and University Student Vaccination Act voted into law earlier this year stipulates that students who live in a dormitory or other student housing provided by an educational institution to receive a one-time vaccination against meningitis.
A college can exempt a student for religious or other reasons but it must provide that student with detailed information about the risks of the disease and the availability of the vaccine.
Students who aren't vaccinated are barred from living in a college dormitory or other college-provided housing units. Colleges aren't required to provide or pay for vaccines but must provide all students with information on the disease.
The law is designed to prevent the outbreak of meningitis, which can cause brain damage if not detected and treated early, Stevenson said.
Meningitis is a contagious infection of spinal cord fluid and can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection.