Due to a recent surge in confirmed cases of mumps in the area, health specialists and the University of Iowa are encouraging students under age 25 to get a third dose of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine before they leave on Thanksgiving break. The University is concerned enough with the situation that they're providing the vaccinations on campus, free of charge.

Kathleen Wittich, Medical Director for University of Iowa Student Health and Wellness announced via a press release, "We have seen more than 100 cases of mumps in our community in the last few months and the numbers have been increasing in recent weeks. We are strongly recommending that students who are at the highest risk for mumps, those under 25, receive a third dose of the MMR vaccine, especially before they leave for Thanksgiving holiday break." She also stated that any Iowa students who haven't gotten the first two doses of the vaccine should do it immediately. The MMR vaccine is given to children as a series of 2 doses. Typically, the first dose is given at approximately one year of age. Started in 2012, the second dose of the vaccine was moved to ages 4 to 6. It had previously been given at 18 months.

University of Iowa students under 25 can get the third dose of the MMR vaccine, for free, during these on-campus events:

  • November 10 – Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • November 11 – Iowa Memorial Union 2nd Floor Ballroom - 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • November 16 – Burge Hall – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • November 16 – Mayflower Hall – 4 to 9 p.m.
  • November 17 – Hillcrest Hall – 4 to 9 p.m.

University of Iowa students should bring their student ID.  Additional free clinics will be added, if necessary, and listed here.

Johnson County Public Health director, Doub Beardsley was quoted in the released with, "The decision to provide a third dose of the MMR vaccine is a proactive approach to curtail this illness. At this time, we do not anticipate a threat to the general public, but we are continuing to monitor the situation closely."

According to the Chicago Tribune, the University of Illinois offered the vaccination for their students this summer following an outbreak.

[via University of Iowa and Johnson County Public Health]