ARLINGTON, Texas—College students, who are new this semester, are required to get a meningitis vaccine before starting classes.
"This is my first time. I'm a little nervous, because I'm kind of afraid of needles," said Lan Nguyen, a student at Tarrant County College.
Monday he got his first-ever vaccine at the Arlington Public Health Center. Nguyen is one of thousands of college students lining up for vaccines in north Texas, now that they have to.
Last February, Texas A&M student Nico Williams died from bacterial meningitis. Lawmakers reacted, passing a law to protect other students.
"I don't think it can do anything but make you more comfortable," said Gayonne Beaver, Associate Director of Undergraduate Recruitment at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Now, every new college student, or transfer student, under the age of 30, has to get a shot. That's put some medical centers in a pinch.
Dallas County health was giving out the shot at a big discount - $10 dollars a shot. The vaccines are funded by the state, but the county ran out. It's expecting more vaccines by the end of the week.
Tarrant County Health has about 1100 left. Its discounted shots go for $25.
"I got here about 8:30, there was a whole bunch of people here," said Nguyen, at the Arlington Public Health Center, around 11:30 Monday morning.
Some insurance providers will cover the vaccine. You can get it at many local pharmacies, or through your primary care physician. Without insurance, the vaccine costs about $150.
"When we knew we were going to be affected by it, we immediately started contacting students. We have done postcard campaigns. We have done email campaigns. We have been doing calling campaigns," said Beaver.
Beaver says about two-thirds of students requiring the vaccine at UT-Arlington have turned their forms it. It's extended the deadline from January 2nd, to the first day of classes, January 17th. If those students don't get the vaccine, they won't be returning to class.
"It's a state law, so we can't flub a little bit, because we'd be breaking a state law," said Beaver.
If you're procrastinating because of the needle, take it from Nguyen, "it's not as bad as I expected."