Dear Director of Student Health Services

July 22, 2003

Dear Director of Student Health Services:

On July 22, 2003, Governor Pataki signed New York State Public Health Law (NYS PHL) §2167 requiring institutions, including colleges and universities, to distribute information about meningococcal meningitis (also called meningococcal disease) and vaccination to all students enrolled for at least six (6) semester hours or the equivalent per semester, or at least four (4) semester hours per quarter. NYS PHL §2167 affects all students meeting the enrollment criteria, whether they live on or off campus. This law becomes effective on August 15, 2003, (prior to the Fall 2003 semester), at which time your institution will be required to maintain a record of the following for each student:

  • A response to receipt of meningococcal disease and vaccine information signed by the student or student’s parent or guardian. This must include information on the availability and cost of meningococcal meningitis vaccine (Menomune™);


  • A record of meningococcal meningitis immunization within the past 10 years; OR
  • An acknowledgement of meningococcal disease risks and refusal of meningococcal meningitis immunization signed by the student or student’s parent or guardian.

Due to the rapid implementation of NYS PHL §2167, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is providing sample materials that can be adapted for your institution’s use, including a sample letter to parents, vaccination response form, immunization record, and meningococcal disease and vaccine information sheet. The Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccination Response Form, which is available on the NYSDOH website at, should be used as a template when documenting receipt of meningococcal disease information and immunization status. A sample prematriculation immunization record, adapted from American College Health Association’s Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Task Force, has also been included with the enclosed packet of information. NYS colleges and universities are encouraged to either use the sample prematriculation immunization record or include Part II of the form, Meningococcal Meningitis Section, when amending or reprinting student health forms. If your institution chooses NOT to use the sample information, then your institution’s meningococcal meningitis response form MUST be forwarded for prior approval to:

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

Enclosed in this information packet is a copy of the NYSDOH Meningococcal Disease Fact Sheet and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS). In addition to the English version, the meningococcal VIS has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Thai, Turkish, and Polish. All translations may be downloaded and reprinted from the Immunization Action Coalition website at . The CDC’s National Center for Infectious Diseases website ( provides additional general and technical information with links to multiple resources. Another resource is the National Meningitis Association (NMA) website which provides a brochure for parents and students titled "Meningitis on Campus, Don’t Wait. Vaccinate." The NMS website is designed to help patients locate a meningococcal vaccine provider in their area.

The American College Health Association (ACHA) has developed the College Health Meningococcal Vaccine Implementation Kit to provide 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 (ACIP). A sample kit is included in this packet for use by college and university health services. Using some or all components of this kit will help assure compliance with NYS PHL §2167.

Similar to the sample response form and prematriculation immunization record, these materials were designed to be easily adapted with information specific to your campus and its meningococcal disease awareness activities (e.g., health service address/telephone number, vaccination clinic dates and times, vaccine cost). Additionally, many components can be easily reproduced or photocopied for distribution on campus. Adaptation or reproduction of the more professionally designed poster and brochure may require consultation with an on-campus printer, if applicable, or a regional or local print company. These materials may also be downloaded and reprinted from the NYSDOH website .

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

  • NYSDOH Meningococcal Disease Fact Sheet, Information for College Students and Parents of Children at Residential Schools and Overnight Camps or
  • ACHA brochure, Meningitis on Campus, Know Your Risk or
  • NMA brochure, Meningitis on Campus, Don’t Wait. Vaccinate.

In addition, 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, Menomune™, on campus for all new and returning students requesting the meningococcal vaccine. Meningococcal vaccine may be ordered through Aventis Pasteur at 800-822-2463 (1-800-VACCINE). Individuals with specific questions regarding the vaccine should be referred to their private health care provider.

The enclosed information should assist you in implementing this new public health law. If you have any questions regarding the new meningococcal meningitis requirements, please contact your NYSDOH Immunization Program regional office representative at the following telephone numbers:

Office Phone Number
Albany Capital Region (518) 408-5300
New Rochelle and Long Island Region (914) 654-7194
Buffalo Western Region (716) 847-4385
Rochester Region (585) 423-8074
Syracuse Central Region (315) 477-8164
New York City Area (212) 676-2259

I appreciate your assistance as we implement this important new legislation.


Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr. P.H.
Commissioner of Health

C: State Health Department
 Local Health Departments