published Monday, March 4th, 2013

Bill to require proof of immunization to be on Tennessee Senate floor today

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Legislation that would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof of immunization against meningitis is expected to be on the Senate floor today.

The measure, which was delayed from last week, is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Lowe Finney of Jackson and House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley.

Finney didn’t give a reason for the delay.

Meningococcal meningitis can be spread through such contact as sharing drink bottles. Ten percent of people who contract the disease die — sometimes within 24 hours.

Fitzhugh said a Middle Tennessee State University freshman died last year after contracting the disease. He said students who live in close quarters are more susceptible to the disease than others.

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