East Texas students filling clinics to get meningitis vaccinations

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Melisa Saxton came to the local health district to get her meningitis vaccination.

"I've been like sitting out there waiting with like 20 of my students from the program," Saxton said.

"We've been flooded with students, not just from Angelina County, but from all of East Texas," said Sarah Adams, the health district's immunization director.

The state now requires all college students under the age of 30 to get a meningitis vaccination.

"This is the age group where they're eating after each other, they're drinking after each other," Adams said. "And the disease is spread through nose and throat secretions."

The symptoms can range from a severe headache, stiff neck, vomiting to confusion and even seizures.

Once a person contracts the virus, we're told they can be dead within 24 hours.

But, it was just last week, the health district ran out of their vaccination supply from the state.

The health district has been able to get more meningitis vaccinations from the state and those are $10 each, but once the state supply runs out, Adams says they'll have to start digging into their private supply and those shots are $130 each.

Many local students have mixed feelings about the shots.

"I feel the natural immune system can be much stronger than any vaccination somebody could give you," said Carl Martin, a student at AC.

"I can understand why they're doing it, just protecting everybody," said Shakayla Moran.

"I see they went to take precautions," Crisos Tomo Nava said. "I understand that totally, but my faith is in God."

"I think it's a good thing, but I just don't want to spend that much money for it," said Renee Sepulvado. "I think that's kind of crazy."

"It does make me feel safer just because I don't have to worry about it so much," said Lacey Harrison.

Regardless of their feelings on the issue, the state says if you want to be on campus, it's not a choice.

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