The full effect of Texas' new meningitis vaccine requirement for college entry will be felt as the fall semester nears, the time when most first-time students start at community colleges and universities.
For some who haven't had a meningococcal dose, waiting to fulfill the new requirement might be a $100 mistake.
The general rule that 18-year-olds are adults doesn't apply to the Vaccines for Children program, which covers those who are uninsured, underinsured, CHIP/Children's Medicaid participants, Medicaid-eligible, American Indian and Alaskan Native until they turn 19.
Houston grandmother Maria Cardenas found that out the hard way.
When she called for an appointment for her granddaughter, the 60-year-old was told the shot would cost $15. The teen, who is headed to the University of Texas at Austin this fall, rescheduled for an opening in April — two days after her birthday.
“Her CHIP was cut off because she turned 19, so her regular doctor said it was $135,” Cardenas said. “I figured they knew it was for college. It didn't dawn on us there would be a big difference.”