Requires certain camps and secondary schools and colleges to provide information on menigococcal meningitis, transmission thereof, and immunization against such disease; provides that the form of such information shall be approved by the commissioner of health; provides for such institutions to distribute waiver forms indicating that the student, parent or guardian: (a) has received the information and (b) either has been immunized within the preceding ten years or has opted not to obtain immunization against menigococcal meningitis.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2003-2004 Regular Sessions
January 8, 2003
Introduced by M. of A. BRODSKY, DiNAPOLI, ENGLEBRIGHT, McENENY, PAULIN
-- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. AUBRY, COLTON, COOK, DINOWITZ,
ESPAILLAT, FARRELL, HOOPER, JOHN, LAVELLE, MAYERSOHN, McLAUGHLIN,
ORTIZ, SCARBOROUGH, SIDIKMAN, WRIGHT -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Health -- reported and referred to the Committee on Ways
and Means -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as
amended and recommitted to said committee -- amended on the special
order of third reading, ordered reprinted as amended, retaining its
place on the special order of third reading
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to information relat-
ing to immunization against meningococcal meningitis
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Statement of legislative findings and declaration of
2 purpose. The legislature hereby finds and declares: meningococcal
3 meningitis is a serious disease which can lead to death within only a
4 few hours of onset, is fatal in one in ten cases, and leaves one in
5 seven survivors with a severe disability such as loss of limb, cognitive
6 deficits, paralysis, deafness, or seizures. The legislature further
7 finds and declares that those residing in dormitory-like residences are
8 at heightened risk to contract meningococcal meningitis and that chil-
9 dren residing in camps share characteristics with populations which have
10 been scientifically shown to be at heightened risk of exposure. The
11 legislature further finds that meningococcal meningitis outbreaks cause
12 significant alarm and confusion in the communities in which they occur.
13 The legislature further finds and declares that the risk presented by
14 meningococcal meningitis requires those individuals at risk to make an
15 informed choice regarding immunization. The legislature further finds
16 and declares that the educational and decision making processes
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 501--B 2
1 warranted by meningococcal meningitis are not applicable to situations
2 in which the risks require mandatory immunization.
3 § 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 2167 to
4 read as follows:
5 § 2167. Immunization against meningococcal meningitis. 1. As used in
6 this section, unless the context requires otherwise:
7 a. The term "student" means a person attending an institution and, in
8 the case of a student attending college, "student" means a person who is
9 registered to attend or who attends classes at an institution, who is
10 enrolled for at least six semester hours or the equivalent per semester,
11 or at least four semester hours per quarter.
12 b. The term "institution" means an academy or college, as defined in
13 section two of the education law, or a children's overnight camp as
14 defined in section one thousand three hundred ninety-two of this chap-
15 ter, where the person attending such camp remains overnight for a period
16 of not fewer than seven days.
17 c. The term "immunization" means an adequate dose or doses of an
18 immunizing agent against meningococcal meningitis which meets the stand-
19 ards approved by the United States public health service for such
20 biological products and which is approved by the department under such
21 conditions as may be specified by the public health council.
22 2. Each institution shall distribute, in a form provided or approved
23 by the commissioner, written information about meningococcal meningitis
24 and meningitis immunization to all students. The information provided by
25 the institution shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
26 a. a description of the disease and means of transmission;
27 b. the benefits, risks, and effectiveness of immunization;
28 c. the availability and cost of immunization, including an indication
29 of whether or not the institution offers meningococcal meningitis immun-
30 ization services.
31 3. Each institution shall also distribute, in a form provided or
32 approved by the commissioner of health, a response form, to be completed
33 by the student or, where the student is under the age of eighteen years,
34 such student's parent or guardian, which shall include the following:
35 a. The student, or if under the age of eighteen years the parent or
36 guardian of the student, certifies that the student has already received
37 immunization against meningococcal meningitis within the ten years
38 preceding the date of the response form;
39 b. The student, or if under the age of eighteen years the parent or
40 guardian of such student, has received and reviewed the information
41 provided by the institution, understands the risks of meningococcal
42 meningitis and the benefits of immunization, and has decided that the
43 student shall not obtain immunization against meningococcal meningitis.
44 The student, or if under the age of eighteen years the parent or guar-
45 dian of such student, shall indicate his or her decision in a box or
46 space placed appropriately on the form and shall return the completed
47 form to the institution. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed
48 to prohibit an institution from incorporating the form required by this
49 subdivision into another health certificate or form required by the
51 4. Each institution shall maintain completed response forms.
52 5. No institution shall permit any student to attend the institution
53 in excess of thirty days without complying with this section; provided,
54 however, that such thirty day period may be extended to not more than
55 sixty days if a student can show a good faith effort to comply with this
A. 501--B 3
1 6. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit institutions
2 from adopting or maintaining more stringent policies regarding immuniza-
3 tion against meningococcal meningitis.
4 § 3. This act shall take effect August 15, 2003.