Lawmakers to consider requiring meningitis vaccines for college - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Lawmakers to consider requiring meningitis vaccines for college students

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Jacob Nunley was a student at MTSU when he died from meningitis Jacob Nunley was a student at MTSU when he died from meningitis
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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - An effort to make meningitis vaccinations a requirement for college students is making its way through the Tennessee Legislature.

Meningitis strikes nearly 1,500 Americans each year. According to the National Meningitis Association, 11 percent of those infected will die.

Chris Wilson's nephew, Jacob Nunley was a student at Middle Tennessee State University when he died last year after contracting the disease. Had Nunley been vaccinated against meningitis, his family believes he would still be alive. This tragedy is behind an effort in the state legislature to make this vaccine required for Tennessee college students.

"I believe had it been a requirement or mandatory, I don't believe we'd be standing here having this conversation today," said Wilson.

It's a regret Lynn Bozof has made a life mission. As founder of the National Meningitis Association she works to educate. 15 years ago she lost her college aged son, who was born in Memphis.

"This disease shows no mercy. Once it gets in your body you are fighting a losing battle," said National Meningitis Association President Lynn Bozof.

Until this becomes law or if it does not pass, a parent's best bet is to ask a doctor to give your child the vaccination.

"I wish all states would make it required because there is no down side to being vaccinated," said Bozof.

The Tennessee House of Representatives is scheduled to take up its version of the bill Tuesday.

It is believed Jacob Nunley contracted the disease from a steroid injection.

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