The Vaccination Essay

1284 words - 5 pages

It begins as minor flu symptoms. But then things seem to never get any better. As symptoms become more severe, a person is advised to go see a doctor. It turns out the individual did not have the flu. It was something far worse, something more treacherous, something more contagious, something chilling, something life-threatening. This disease is known as bacterial meningitis. It is possibly a college student’s worst nightmare, and a disease that students should be well informed about. But while the bacterial infection is rather rare, it’s also terminal, killing 10 to 12 percent of those it infects, sometimes within hours. The disease attacks and closes up major organs and prevents blood from circulating to limbs, causing tissue to die. Among survivors, 20 percent suffer brain damage, kidney disease, loss of hearing or sight, limb amputations or other severe complications (Dahl). The subject of this disease has become a major topic on college campuses throughout the state of Texas.
The current issue with this disease is that only students who live in campus housing are required to receive vaccination to attend the university. This was made mandatory by the Jamie Schanbuam Act, which was passed in 2009. Jamie was a rare survivor of the disease who attended the University of Texas in 2008 (Hamilton). The most recent incident with this disease and college students was with a student by the name of Nicolis Williams at A&M University. Nicolis was a 20-year-old economics major, and was also an off campus resident who had not received the vaccination. Williams died within four days of complaining of flu-like symptoms. It is believed he caught the disease while attending another student’s Super Bowl party (Reece). Just as easy as it was for Williams to become a victim, he could have also just as easily transmitted the disease to other unprotected students and the trend goes on. The specification created by this Act is an issue because obviously on every campus there are an ample number of students who do not live on the campus. That being said, a significant number of students are left vulnerable to catching the airborne disease, as college student are three times more likely to catch the disease than the general population.
The most fitting way to resolve this issue would be to make it mandatory for all students attending state universities to receive the vaccination for Meningococcal meningitis, in order to be registered for classes. The vaccination lasts for three to five years, so this new act would be directed primarily at college freshman. A practical way in which this could be carried out is by adding the cost of the shot into all incoming freshman’s tuition and requiring the student to have the shot taken care of at the on ‘campus clinic or by personal doctor. For students who plan to have the shot taken care of at the schools clinic, it must be taken care of within the first week of school. For those students who would like to have the shot...

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