Exempts non-resident students at community colleges from certain immunization requirements.
BILL NUMBER: S1201
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the public health law, in relation to exempting non-resident students at community colleges from the requirement of maintaining measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and meningococcal meningitis records
PURPOSE : This bill would exempt non-resident students at community colleges from certain immunization requirements.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Section One of the bill would add a new subdivision 14 to Section 2165 of the Public Health Law to exempt non-resident students at community colleges from this section of law. Section Two of this bill would add a new subdivision 7 to Section 2167 of the Public Health Law to exempt non-resident students at community colleges from this section of law. Section Three of the bill would provide for an immediate effective date.
JUSTIFICATION : During the first six months of 1989, 81% of reported cases of measles in New York State occurred in 12 outbreaks in post-secondary institutions. These outbreaks resulted from inadequate immunization or vaccine failure in some students coupled with the close contact in living and study quarters inherent in the college setting. The outbreaks resulted in the enactment of Public Health Law (PHL) Section 2165 (effective August 1,1990) that mandated measles, mumps and rubella immunizations for all full-time (taking 12 or more college credits) college students born on or after January 1,1957. Six months later, this section required all full time and part time (taking 6-11 college credits) college students to comply, regardless of campus residency status.
Section 2165 requires that all students provide documentation of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella (2 doses of live measles vaccine, the first dose given on or after the 1st birthday, the second given on or after 15 months); live vaccine must have been given on or after 111/68 or evidence of immunity or evidence from physician that person has had the disease; medical and religious exemptions are recognized. PHL Section 2167 was enacted on August 15, 2003. This section requires all students be made aware of information about meningococcal disease and vaccination. It also requires that all students provide either proof of immunization to meningitis or submission of a signed waiver stating that the signee understands the risks and chooses not to receive the vaccine.
There is some belief by the academic community that these sections of the Public Health Law are ineffective as they apply to colleges and universities because of the numerous situations that compromise the integrity of the "safety net" established by them. Public community colleges, in particular, are not adequately served, based on significantly different circumstances found between most community college students, who commute daily between home, campus, and work, and their 4-year college and university counterparts who are, for the most part, based in on-campus residences. This difference has placed an undue burden on public community colleges, community college students, and their families. The vast majority of community college students are commuters who live and work in every part of their communities. They present no greater risk to the public health than anyone else, as they do not tend to live and study in the kind of concentrated environments found on traditional residential campuses and, therefore, present no more risk to the health of the community than any other person (faculty, staff, program participant, or visitor) found on a community college campus. No other community college constituency is required to meet the conditions of these PHL sections. In fact, the majority of faculty and staff serving New York's community colleges, all of whom are not required to comply with this "protection", were born after the 1/1/57 mandated in the law for students.
Many community colleges conduct on-campus study programs with current high school students, like "Upward Bound" and "STEP." As these students are not "enrolled", they are not required to comply with this law. Medical and religious exemptions are recognized so, regardless of compliance with the law, not all students will be immunized, leaving every campus with certain gaps in protection. Since 1990, every New York State kindergartner has been required by law to have been vaccinated, or otherwise declared immune. This requirement should render compliance through the 2003 PHL Section 2167 mute as no student should have been allowed into a public school without such documentation.
Many community college students attend college one or two classes at a time, which often places them below the part-time student (>6 credit hours) threshold. These students are not required to comply. The cost to administrate this program, in terms of additional staffing; increased paperwork and filing; critical student communications; lost instructional time; and added counseling loads, is prohibitive, reaching into the tens of thousands of dollars each year. Accordingly, this proposal would exempt non-resident students at community colleges from the requirements in PHL Sections 2165 and 2167, based on key and significant differences in overall living conditions from their 4-year and university counterparts, that renders these sections ineffective for the community colleges.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2010 - S.7799 Health Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediate.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1201 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. GRIFFO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to exempting non-re- sident students at community colleges from the requirement of main- taining measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and meningococcal meningitis records THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 2165 of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 14 to read as follows: 14. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO NON-RESIDENT STUDENTS AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION SIXTY-THREE HUNDRED ONE OF THE EDUCATION LAW. S 2. Section 2167 of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 7 to read as follows: 7. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO NONRESIDENT STUDENTS AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION SIXTY-THREE HUNDRED ONE OF THE EDUCATION LAW. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01852-01-1