MMR vaccination status check
UK and Public Health England are calling for students to check their MMR vaccination status following recent measles cases amongst university students.
As of 15th April 2016, 68 cases of measles have been confirmed as linked to this outbreak. Cases are predominantly in unimmunised adolescents and young adults (aged 14 to 40 years), and many of these cases have led to hospital admissions.
Students, and university health teams, are asked to remain alert to measles, which can include cold-like symptoms, sore red eyes, a high temperature or a red-brown blotchy rash. Those experiencing symptoms should be told to seek medical attention, but to phone ahead before visiting GP surgeries so arrangements can be made to prevent others from being infected.
Those who have been in close contact with someone who has measles should also see their GP, if they have not been fully vaccinated (had two doses of the MMR vaccine) or have not had the infection before – particularly those who are immunosuppressed, pregnant or are infants.
Measles activity in England has been at historically low levels since the successful MMR catch-up immunisation campaign in 2013, which targeted unimmunised and partially immunised adolescents aged 10 to 16 years. In 2014 and 2015, there were 103 and 91 confirmed cases of measles in England respectively.
The Health Protection Agency recommends that young adults are protected against mumps by receiving two doses of MMR vaccine, which gives 90% protection. If you have not had both the normal doses of MMR vaccine, it is strongly recommended that you are immunised against it, as there have also been clusters of cases of mumps at various universities.
Due to an increase in cases of meningitis type W, new first year students (aged under 25) are now recommended to have the Meningitis ACWY vaccine. This is different from the previous meningitis C vaccine so please be careful to check which vaccine you had before coming to University. If you have had ACWY vaccine in the last five years, you do not need another dose.
MMR can be given at the same time as the Meningitis ACWY vaccine.