Worried about measles? Learn the facts

Published: February 17th, 2015

Category: Student Health Care Center Blog

For more information about measles in the U.S., please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, “Frequently Asked Questions about Measles in the U.S.”

How many UF students have received the vaccine?

All new students are required to show proof of certain immunizations, including two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine or lab evidence of immunity to Measles, Mumps and Rubella, prior to attending the University of Florida. According to the University’s records, about 99.7 percent of the student population has received two doses of MMR vaccine or provided lab evidence of immunity. For more information about UF’s required and recommended immunizations, please visit our Immunizations web page.

What about those students who have not received the vaccine?

People who have claimed an exemption from MMR immunization when enrolling at UF who are medically able to receive the vaccine are being urged to get vaccinated.

For measles, 99.7 percent of students are not affected — the vaccine works extremely well, so nothing changes for these students. For the 0.03 percent of the student population that is not vaccinated against measles, the Student Health Care Center has identified those at risk and contacted them to be vaccinated if medically safe.

At this time, no cases of measles have been identified on the UF campus. Should an outbreak occur, those students who have not been vaccinated would be excluded from all campus activities throughout the 21 day incubation period of when any measles case is identified.

What happens if there is an outbreak of infectious disease at the University of Florida?

This is completely dependent on the actual infectious agent; however, in any outbreak situation the Student Health Care Center would work with UF Emergency Management, Dean of Students Office and Housing and Residence Education teams, as well as the Alachua County Health Department, regarding containment and communication.

What is the typical schedule and recommendation for MMR vaccination?

The CDC recommends the following vaccination schedule for infants:

  • Children should get 2 doses of MMR vaccine as follows: First Dose at 12-15 months of age, and Second Dose at 4-6 years of age (may be given earlier, if at least 28 days after the 1st dose).
  • Some infants younger than 12 months should get a dose of MMR if they are traveling out of the country. (This dose will not count toward their routine series.)

Some adults should also get MMR vaccine. Generally, anyone 18 years of age or older who was born after 1956 should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine, unless they can show that they have either been vaccinated or had all three diseases. MMR vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

Some people should NOT get MMR vaccine or should wait. Any of the following might be a reason to not get the vaccine, or delay vaccination until later:

  • Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of MMR vaccine, should not get the vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.
  • Anyone who had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of MMR or MMRV vaccine should not get another dose.
  • Some people who are sick at the time the shot is scheduled may be advised to wait until they recover before getting MMR vaccine.
  • Pregnant women should not get MMR vaccine. Pregnant women who need the vaccine should wait until after giving birth. Women should avoid getting pregnant for 4 weeks after vaccination with MMR vaccine.

Tell your doctor if the person getting the vaccine:

  • Has HIV/AIDS, or another disease that affects the immune system
  • Is being treated with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids
  • Has any kind of cancer
  • Is being treated for cancer with radiation or drugs
  • Has ever had a low platelet count (a blood disorder)
  • Has gotten another vaccine within the past 4 weeks
  • Has recently had a transfusion or received other blood products

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