UNM students may be required to get meningitis vaccination

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new resolution proposed by the Associated Students of UNM is pushing all students to get vaccinated against meningitis.

“If there is an outbreak of meningitis, that could have a huge impact on UNM, and the people on UNM’s campus and it would just not be something anybody would want to see,” said Student Senator Noah Brooks.

Brooks says his job is to make sure student voices are heard on campus. That is why he says this resolution to require all University of New Mexico students to get vaccinated against meningitis is something that will benefit everyone. The vaccination will cost $125, and less for students with insurance. So far, students on campus seem to agree with the idea, especially with more and more students being required to live in the dorms.

“With the live-in requirement that’s going to be implemented in 2018, I think it’s almost necessary,” said Jaimie Lin.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal, I got it a couple years ago,” said Pablo Lopez.

Brooks is currently working on a way to make the shots more affordable for students without insurance.

“I believe it would be best, or it would be OK if we could have a clause in there about people not being able to afford it,” said Brooks.

The 2018 live-in requirement is also a big red flag to health officials on campus.

“Meningitis is more common in the college campus community because of people living together and being in close quarters,” said Dr. James Wilterding.

UNM Health officials say there haven’t been many meningitis cases on campus, but they want to do everything they can to prevent what’s happened on campuses like Princeton’s.

“We do support the recommendation that students be vaccinated,” said Dr. Wilterding.

There is currently a clause in the resolution that allows students to opt out of the vaccination for religious reasons. The goal of this resolution is to have the vaccination rule in place by Fall of next year.

Some schools pay for the mandatory vaccinations, but UNM is currently in a budget bind right now.

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