MinuteClinic prepares for new meningitis vaccine mandate in Texas

41 walk-in clinic locations in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metro regions

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic has prepared all of its Texas-based clinics for an increased demand for the meningococcal vaccine for bacterial meningitis following a bill signed into law last May, whereby Texas will become the first state in the country to require that all college students receive one dose or booster of the meningococcal vaccine for bacterial meningitis. The requirement goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.

Previous Texas law required those living in campus dorms to receive a meningococcal vaccination. The new mandate expands the provision to all students entering any college or university, including new students, community and junior college students, commuting students, transferring students and students who may not have lived in a Texas college dorm previously. Students enrolled exclusively in online or other distance education courses, and those 30 years of age or older are exempt.

Texas students must provide their college or university evidence of a vaccination within the last five years no later than 10 days prior to the first day of the 2012 semester or term.

"We know nearly 1.5 million students entered college in Texas this past fall, and 70,000 more are expected to start in spring 2012," stated Angela Patterson, nurse practitioner and MinuteClinic regional manager. "MinuteClinic makes it easy for students to fulfill this vaccination requirement by making meningitis vaccinations available seven days a week with no appointment necessary and providing students the proper documentation to submit to their school."

MinuteClinic has 41 walk-in clinic locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metro regions located within a 20-mile radius of 63 Texas colleges and universities. The company stated that ample supply of meningitis vaccine is available at these clinics and the more than 600 MinuteClinic locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in 26 states and the District of Columbia.

The cost to receive the required meningitis vaccination at MinuteClinic is $147, or an insurance co-pay. Most major insurance will cover all or part of the cost.

Bacterial meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord that can spread rapidly resulting in serious health consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young adults living and going to class on crowded college campuses and surrounded by individuals from various geographic areas are at highest risk for the disease.

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