Friday, August 10, 2012

Meningitis Vaccination

From a future health care provider's prospective, I feel compelled to support the entirety of the meningitis vaccine law, especially after a student from our very own Texas A&M passed away after contracting bacterial meningitis. Because the law concerning meningitis vaccination applied only to those who lived in on-campus dorms, he did not get vaccinated. The response is the requirement of students to get the vaccine. However, opponents are looking to tweak the law, as certain regulations that are the best for one school may not be what is good for another. 

Despite my ties to the medical field, I feel that though the vaccination should be strongly urged by the university, the decision to get the vaccine should ultimately be left up to the student and the family. I do believe that the meningitis vaccination is something that every student should be quick to get because the the effects are devastating. If one who contracts meningitis survives, they run the risk of after effects such as nervous system disorders and seizures or strokes. By getting the vaccine, one can lower the risk of spreading the disease to others who may not be vaccinated.

However there are those who oppose the vaccination mandate for religious or philosophical reasons. Whatever the reason, I believe that if you choose not to get the vaccine, it is your decision and you are therefore putting yourself at risk. Students should be fully informed of the risks, though, so that they understand the dangers of meningitis and are aware of the effects.

The meningoccocal vaccine is something that I fully support, as it minimizes one's risks of contracting bacterial meningitis and therefore can save a life. The state is implementing its power to help save lives and families. With the opposition though, especially the opposition to putting a substance into your body, I respect the idea that the decision--being fully aware of the risks at hand--be left up to the student and the family. 

1 comment:

Scott Jermain said...

After reviewing a classmate of mine's blog on the infamous meningitis vaccination, I was left with a few thoughts. One of which, is why are we forced to have the shot in the first place? Like Mindy said, there should be a "tweak in the law." This tweak would be a change that would make sure everyone knew the risks of refusing the vaccine, as well as the ability to sign a statement refusing the vaccine altogether.
This topic hits very close to home for me, because I'm not exactly a huge fan for shots. While yes, they are necessary, I still get a pit in my stomach when the doctor mouths the word. The reason I find this topic very relate-able is because I was forced into getting one for basically no reason. I got my meningitis shot when I was 13 years old, and the requirement for ACC states that you must have had it no less than 6 years ago. Mind you, I am a student at the University of Texas, and was not required to have the shot, because I didn't stay in the dorms as a freshman. Instead, i passed on the opportunity and went on my merry way until I came across the requirements to pass my registration bar for ACC. The shot was the only thing standing in my way. Now, why would I need this shot if I'm only taking one class...and that class happens to be an online course? That, I may never know. This is why I feel that the requirement needs some revisiting.
Mindy makes another good point, which I believe has already been done. She goes on and states how people should be able to refuse the vaccine based on philosophical reasons or religious reasons (not just cause they are a wimp like me.) In revisiting the proof of the shot I had done, I did happen to see that there was an option to opt out of it, but the paperwork was gruesome. Those that have religious/philosophical reasons not to get the shot should not be punished with an exorbitant amount of paperwork.
All this being said, this shot really is a necessity. Of the people that contracted meningitis and treated, 15% died and a enormous 20% of survivors were left with long term diseases like seizures, deafness, mental retardation, and even nervous system disorders.
So, the next time the doctor mentions a necessary shot, cowboy up, and take it like a man. In all reality, a little discomfort could save your life, and keep your risks for these serious disorders at bay.

That's the way Scott sees it