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Bill to Ensure Adequate Defense against Meningitis on NJ College Campuses Signed Into Law

Aiming to help protect students at New Jersey’s four-year colleges and universities from meningitis outbreaks, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Shavonda Sumter and Raj Mukherji was signed into law Monday.

The law (formerly bill A-1991) revises the requirement for residential students in four-year institutions of higher education to receive immunization against meningococcal disease, so that immunizations would follow the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“This law creates a proactive policy that mirrors the CDC’s recommendations to help prevent potential outbreaks in the future,” said Sumter (D-Bergen, Passaic).  “In addition, it may even reduce the severity or impact of illness that could create a public health crisis on a college or university campus if exposed.”

“Students already deal with the academic, physical and emotional stress that can accompany college life,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “This law will help ensure that outbreaks of this kind will be one less issue of which they need to be concerned.”

Outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease have occurred at Princeton University and Rutgers University over the last several years. The introduction of new meningitis B vaccines and ACIP’s revised recommendations will help address potential future outbreaks and increase the immunization rates among New Jersey students attending four-year institutions of higher education.

The law will take effect in September of this year.