Information for College/University Student Health Services

New York State Public Health Law (NYS PHL) §2167 was signed into law on July 22, 2003 and became effective on August 15, 2003. This law requires institutions, including colleges and universities, to:

  1. Distribute information about meningococcal meningitis (also called meningococcal disease) and vaccination to all students enrolled for at least six semester hours or the equivalent per semester, or at least four semester hours per quarter.
    • NYS PHL §2167 affects all students meeting the enrollment criteria, whether they live on or off campus.
  2. Maintain a record of the following for each student:
    • A response, signed by the student's parent or guardian (or the student if he/she is 18 years of age or older), that information about meningococcal disease and vaccine information was received. This must include information on the availability and cost of meningococcal meningitis vaccine (Menactra™).
      and either
      • A record of meningococcal meningitis immunization within 5 years. or
      • An acknowledgement of meningococcal disease risks and refusal of meningococcal meningitis immunization signed by the student or student's parent or guardian.

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has sample materials below that can be adapted for your institution's use, including: letter to parents; vaccination response form; and a prematriculation immunization record. The sample College Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccination Response Form, or a NYSDOH approved form (see below), should be used when documenting receipt of meningococcal disease information and immunization status.

Other sources of NYSDOH approved materials include: Immunization Action Coalition; Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; and National Network for Immunization Information (links can be found at the bottom of this information).

If your institution chooses NOT to use any of the materials above, then your institution's materials MUST be forwarded for prior approval to:

New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Immunization
Room 649, Corning Tower
Albany, NY 12237
FAX (518) 474-1495

At a minimum, your institution MUST provide students and/or parents of minor students a copy of one (1) of the following:

Additionally, each institution must provide information on the availability and cost of immunization, including an indication of whether or not the institution offers meningococcal meningitis immunization services.

To ensure the adequate immunization of New York State's student population, all college and university health centers are encouraged to offer the meningococcal meningitis vaccine, Menactra™, on campus for all new and returning students requesting the meningococcal vaccine. Individuals with specific questions regarding the vaccine should be referred to their private health care provider.

If your institution offers the meningococcal meningitis vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Meningococcal Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) can be found below. In addition to the English version, the meningococcal VIS has been translated into other languages. All translations may be downloaded and reprinted from the Immunization Action Coalition website, also below.

If your institution does not offer the vaccine, students should be referred to their private health care provider for vaccination.

The American College Health Association developed the College Health Meningococcal Vaccine Implementation Kit which provides health services with sample communications materials and suggested strategies for conducting a campus awareness program on meningococcal vaccination. These materials are designed to help colleges and universities inform their students and parents, consistent with the requirements of NYS PHL §2167 and with recommendations issued by CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. These materials were designed to be easily adapted with information specific to your campus. Using some or all components of this kit will help assure compliance with NYS PHL §2167.

Questions regarding the meningococcal meningitis requirements can be directed to the NYSDOH Bureau of Immunization regional office nearest to your institution:

Office Phone Number
Capital District Region (Albany) (518) 408-5278
Western Region (Buffalo) (716) 847-4385
Western Region (Rochester) (585) 423-8014
Central Region (Syracuse) (315) 477-8164
New Rochelle and Long Island Region (914) 654-7194
New York City (5 boroughs) (212) 676-2259

Other Resources: