Stanford University

Health and Safety Statement on Measles and Mumps Outbreaks and the Importance of Vaccination

Stanford University has been closely following the measles outbreaks in the United States, with cases confirmed in at least 26 States as of May 2019, including California. Measles is a highly contagious and life-threatening disease that can be effectively prevented with vaccination. While 97-99% of persons vaccinated with two doses of the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine (MMR) will be immune to infection, those who are exposed to measles and who are not immune, including those unvaccinated, have a 90% likelihood of contracting measles.  Infection with mumps has similarly been reported in 41 States to date in 2019, with a case burden comparable to measles.

Stanford University strongly recommends that University personnel check their immunization records to ensure compliance with CDC recommendations for MMR vaccination. Per the CDC, adults working in a post-high school, secondary-educational institution such as Stanford should make sure they have received 2 doses of MMR vaccine since their first birthday, spaced at least 28 days apart.

If you are unable to verify your vaccination status or immunity, we recommend contacting your personal physician to discuss obtaining a titer test (blood test) for immunity or an adult booster dose of MMR.

Those University employees whose work requires compliance with Stanford University and Stanford Health Care Infection Control policies, including clinicians and researchers who enter patient care areas of SHC and LPCH, may contact the Stanford University Occupational Health Center with any questions about their immunity status. While the majority of those born before 1957 are likely to have been infected naturally and therefore presumed to be protected against measles, mumps, and rubella, healthcare personnel born before 1957 are still required to provide proof of immunity or appropriate MMR vaccination.

We encourage the campus population to be proactive in this process.  Although MMR vaccination during an outbreak scenario might provide some protection to susceptible personnel if administered within 72 hours of initial measles exposure, post-exposure MMR vaccination, if available, does not prevent or alter the clinical severity of mumps or rubella.

Stanford students are encouraged to review the immunization requirements on the Vaden Health Center website and visit the immunizations tab to confirm that their records are on file at Vaden, as all Stanford students are required to show proof of 2 MMRs.  Note for students: If you do not have 2 MMRs listed but have been vaccinated, you should upload your records. If you have not yet been fully vaccinated, you should do so as soon as possible.


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