Immunization program


                 STATE OF NEW YORK
			       2003-2004 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE

				     January 8, 2003
	  VOLKER  --  read  twice  and  ordered  printed, and when printed to be
	  committed to the Committee on Health  --  committee  discharged,  bill
	  amended,  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
	AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to information relat-
	  ing to immunization against meningococcal meningitis
	  The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
	bly, do enact as follows:
     1	  Section  1.	 Statement  of  legislative  findings and declaration of
     2  purpose.   The legislature  hereby  finds  and  declares:  meningococcal
     3  meningitis  is  a  serious disease which can lead to death within only a
     4  few hours of onset, is fatal in one in ten  cases,  and  leaves  one  in
     5  seven survivors with a severe disability such as loss of limb, cognitive
     6  deficits,  paralysis,  deafness,  or  seizures.  The legislature further
     7  finds and declares that those residing in dormitory-like residences  are
     8  at  heightened  risk to contract meningococcal meningitis and that chil-
     9  dren residing in camps share characteristics with populations which have
    10  been scientifically shown to be at heightened risk  of  exposure.    The
    11  legislature  further finds that meningococcal meningitis outbreaks cause
    12  significant alarm and confusion in the communities in which they  occur.
    13  The  legislature  further  finds and declares that the risk presented by
    14  meningococcal meningitis requires those individuals at risk to  make  an
    15  informed  choice  regarding  immunization. The legislature further finds
    16  and  declares  that  the  educational  and  decision  making   processes
    17  warranted  by  meningococcal meningitis are not applicable to situations
    18  in which the risks require mandatory immunization.
    19	  § 2.  The public health law is amended by adding a new section 2167 to
    20  read as follows:
	 EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
			      [ ] is old law to be omitted.


S. 312--A 2 1 § 2167. Immunization against meningococcal meningitis. 1. As used in 2 this section, unless the context requires otherwise: 3 a. The term "student" means a person attending an institution and, in 4 the case of a student attending college, "student" means a person who is 5 registered to attend or who attends classes at an institution, who is 6 enrolled for at least six semester hours or the equivalent per semester, 7 or at least four semester hours per quarter. 8 b. The term "institution" means an academy or college, as defined in 9 section two of the education law, or a children's overnight camp as 10 defined in section one thousand three hundred ninety-two of this chap- 11 ter, where the person attending such camp remains overnight for a period 12 of not fewer than seven days. 13 c. The term "immunization" means an adequate dose or doses of an 14 immunizing agent against meningococcal meningitis which meets the stand- 15 ards approved by the United States public health service for such 16 biological products and which is approved by the department under such 17 conditions as may be specified by the public health council. 18 2. Each institution shall distribute, in a form provided or approved 19 by the commissioner, written information about meningococcal meningitis 20 and meningitis immunization to all students. The information provided by 21 the institution shall include, but not be limited to, the following: 22 a. a description of the disease and means of transmission; 23 b. the benefits, risks, and effectiveness of immunization; 24 c. the availability and cost of immunization, including an indication 25 of whether or not the institution offers meningococcal meningitis immun- 26 ization services. 27 3. Each institution shall also distribute, in a form provided or 28 approved by the commissioner of health, a response form, to be completed 29 by the student or, where the student is under the age of eighteen years, 30 such student's parent or guardian, which shall include the following: 31 a. The student, or if under the age of eighteen years the parent or 32 guardian of the student, certifies that the student has already received 33 immunization against meningococcal meningitis within the ten years 34 preceding the date of the response form; 35 b. The student, or if under the age of eighteen years the parent or 36 guardian of such student, has received and reviewed the information 37 provided by the institution, understands the risks of meningococcal 38 meningitis and the benefits of immunization, and has decided that the 39 student shall not obtain immunization against meningococcal meningitis. 40 The student, or if under the age of eighteen years the parent or guar- 41 dian of such student, shall indicate his or her decision in a box or 42 space placed appropriately on the form and shall return the completed 43 form to the institution. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed 44 to prohibit an institution from incorporating the form required by this 45 subdivision into another health certificate or form required by the 46 institution. 47 4. Each institution shall maintain completed response forms. 48 5. No institution shall permit any student to attend the institution 49 in excess of thirty days without complying with this section; provided, 50 however, that such thirty day period may be extended to not more than 51 sixty days if a student can show a good faith effort to comply with this 52 section. 53 6. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit institutions 54 from adopting or maintaining more stringent policies regarding immuniza- 55 tion against meningococcal meningitis. 56 § 3. This act shall take effect August 15, 2003.