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Legislative Support

NMA has a long history of working to pass mandates for meningitis and other adolescent vaccinations across the country. Mandates, which are enacted by individual states, require that adolescents get vaccinated by a certain age or before entry into a particular grade to remain in school.

Vaccine mandates are one of the strongest tools available to help prevent meningitis outbreaks and save lives. 

Fourteen of the 15 states with the highest rates of meningococcal ACWY vaccination have a mandate in place. As of July 2019, 31 states and Washington, D.C. mandate the first dose of the MenACWY vaccine at age 11-12, while just 17 states mandate the second dose of MenACWY at age 16-17, aligning with CDC recommendations. No state currently mandates the vaccine for Men B – the strain of meningitis that has caused every college outbreak in the last five years.

There are several ways in which states enact vaccine mandates. Legislation might be proposed by a state legislator (e.g., state senator or assembly person), the governor, a state health commissioner or others. In some states, mandates are enacted through a regulatory process instead of legislation. 

While the exact method differs, in all cases many people will be involved in the discussions and decision whether to create a mandate. Hearing your personal story can help them understand the impact of meningitis on individuals and families. If your state is considering enacting a meningitis vaccination mandate, please let us know. NMA can mobilize a network of advocates to send letters of support to elected officials and others who are involved in the decision, as well as provide in-person testimony.

Vaccination Requirements State by State

Note: Most requirements were implemented before serogroup B meningococcal vaccines were available in the U.S. and may only apply to the vaccine that protects against serogroups A,C, W and Y. No matter where you live parents and teens should ask about vaccination against all serogroups (A, C, W, Y and B) of meningococcal disease. See chart.