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Ohio Legislature Passes Student Meningitis Immunization Bill

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio students would have to be immunized against meningitis under a bill passed by the Legislature.

The House approved it Thursday, sending it to the governor.

If signed into law, it would require students to be immunized against meningococcal disease once they reach a certain age, which would be determined by the Ohio Department of Health. The requirement would start in the 2016-17 school year.

With few exceptions, the proposal would apply to students at public and nonpublic schools that are subject to state standards. Students could be exempt for medical or religious reasons.

The Senate already approved the proposal sponsored by Republican Sen. Cliff Hite of Findlay. Hite has said his family learned how quickly meningitis can affect young people when his niece died hours after contracting the disease.