To Whom It May Concern:
Please allow me to share with you the Florida Statute passed by the Florida legislature in 2003. The Statute reads as follows:
1006.69 Vaccination against meningococcal meningitis and hepatitis B.
Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial infection that can cause severe swelling of the brain and spinal cord. This disease is potentially very dangerous because it is relatively rare and it is often mistaken for a minor cold or the flue and, as a result, is ignored. The bad news is that up to 1 out of 5 people who develop meningococcal disease will die. Of those who survive, up to 1 in 5 will suffer from permanent disabilities such as amputation, brain damage, hearing loss, and seizures.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease is critical and potentially lifesaving. The most common early symptoms include the following: headache, fever, stiff neck, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.
Data from across the country continues to show that college-aged students, particularly freshmen, living on campus have a significantly higher risk of getting meningococcal disease than young people living off campus.
Reasons why college students are susceptible to the disease include the following: living in a crowded dormitory, going out to bars, drinking alcohol, smoking, and/or being around someone who smokes (passive smoking). Because the infection is easily transmitted through the air via droplets of respiratory secretions, direct contact with infected persons (eg, kissing and/or sharing of utensils, drinking glasses, or cigarettes) puts the individual at risk.
The meningitis vaccine is generally safe and well tolerated. Reactions that may occur include the following: soreness or redness at the injection site and mild fever.
Precaution: The vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy, if the immune system is compromised, or certain health conditions. No vaccine is 100% guaranteed for susceptible individuals.
Hepatitis B is a viral disease that attacks the liver and can cause jaundice, permanent liver damage, even death. The incubation period ranges from 45 to 160 days (average 120 days).
The virus is spread through blood and other body fluids, and can survive for at least one month on contaminated surfaces in some circumstances.
Hepatitis B can be spread through the following circumstances;
The aftereffects of hepatitis B can last for quite a while, and the person may feel very bad for weeks or months. Serious long term consequences of hepatitis B include the risk of chronic infection (this means the person could become a carrier and pass it on to other people), chronic liver disease and liver cancer.
The vaccine is generally well tolerated but may generate the following symptoms after receiving the injection: soreness, swelling, and redness at the injection site. The vaccine is contraindicated in individuals who are hypersensitive to yeast, or to any other component of the vaccine. It is possible that expanded commercial use of the vaccine could reveal rare adverse reactions. Three doses administered in the usual 0, 1 and 6 month schedule resulted in immunity in 96% of healthy adults and adolescents.
The vaccine is given in a series of three injections in the following recommended manner: receive the first injection, one month after the first injection the second injection is due, six months after the first injection was received the third injection is due.
If you have not received the series of injections, please contact your local public health department, personal physician, or a walk-in medical clinic to begin the series. THE STUDENT HEALTH CENTER WILL NOT PROVIDE THIS VACCINATION.
DOCUMENTATION FOR THESE VACCINES MUST BE ON FILE AT THE STUDENT HEALTH CENTER. IF YOU DECLINE TO RECEIVE THE VACCINES, PLEASE SIGN THE ENCLOSED WAIVER FORM.
THIS APPLIES TO ALL BOARDING STUDENTS AND WAS EFFECTIVE JANUARY 7th, 2003. PLEASE ASSIST THE COLLEGE BY SUPPLYING THE REQUESTED INFORMATION TO THE STUDENT HEALTH CENTER AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. IT IS OUR DESIRE FOR THE STUDENTS TO HAVE THE MAXIMUM PROTECTION AVAILABLE AGAINST BOTH DISEASES.
Betty Calhoun RN, BSN
I have read the information on meningitis and hepatitis B that the college provided.
I have elected to waive obtaining the following
Meningitis vaccine _________________________________
Hepatitis vaccine __________________________________
I have received the meningitis vaccine and hepatitis B vaccine on the following dates:
Hepatitis B #1_______________ #2_________________ #3________________